AstraZeneca Restructuring

New CEO to announce outcome of new restructuring plan in Jan Feb, what's he going to say?

Good old them and us, some

Good old them and us, some will remember the effect it had on British Layland.

Ah, management. The sad thing

Ah, management. The sad thing is that many of today's managers used to be lab scientists. How did they come to believe that they would ever be decent managers? Who decided that these people should be asked to manage teams and departments?

I sympathise to some extent,

I sympathise to some extent, having gone through AZ performance reviews. They simply didn't reward what was important but I am making the point that the bickering is all part of the problem. All pharma are in a mess and until something big changes it will just get worse. AZ annual restructuring won't make any difference, apart from to the people. It will take a whole new scientific break through. All the current stale targets, personalized medicine, outsourcing etc is going nowhere. Whatever it is that's the break though mono bots or stem cells or whatever. Somewhere someone will work as a passionate team and do real creative science unfortunately there are fewer and fewer people capable of doing it.

"Your just blaming everyone

"Your just blaming everyone else. That's also partly what's wrong"

that's an easy statement to make, and a hard one to argue against, but given the circumstances set by management what can the average lab scientist do to change things? There's no choice but to go along with all the BS initiatives, and to play the games to survive the performance review process.

Your just blaming everyone

Your just blaming everyone else. That's also partly what's wrong

"If chemists actually went

"If chemists actually went back and did some proper medicinal chemistry they might actually come up with something decent. And if biologists actually went and did some proper work instead of sitting in meetings they might be able to run some of the killer experiments that they used to."

And if management stopped interfering with stupid ideas like smart targets, partially met, impact, ideation, fitted bell curves for bonuses, meetings to discuss meetings, making lists of every conversation in case you had an idea, talent pool, parallel syntheses, virtual chemistry etc etc etc the chemists and biologists might actually go back to doing proper research. It is management that has ruined this company by destroying innovative research and replacing it with metrics and blame culture. As long as they could blame others and retain their career nothing mattered to them. They'll be doing the same to whichever unfortuneate company has reemployed them.

"DMPK making a serious

"DMPK making a serious input"

That's the problem. They don't make a serious input. They interfere with biological assays and physiology experiments, adding extra, superfluous groups to what is already a perfectly good study. Once upon a time DMPK people ran their own experiments, now they piggyback onto other people's work and waste time in sodding meetings. In every DMPK department there is an inverted pyramid of resource: one junior scientist who runs the mass spec and dozens of boneheads all jostling to be invited to as many meetings as possible. If I had the authority I would declare them all to be illegal gatherings of redundant atoms and have them dispersed over a very large area with the aid of a crop sprayer. Useless bozos, go and do some proper work instead of buggering up my study.

I agree so much innovative

I agree so much innovative chemistry is no longer done but also bear in mind 20 years ago no one bothered much about DDI sorry but you need DMPK making a serious input

"No body is any good at drug

"No body is any good at drug discovery. 10 to 20 or so years ago all all the easily drugable targets were drugged. Only bits and pieces remain. It will take a truly new leap forward to reinvent drug discovery."

Nearly right. You're forgetting that 20 years ago medicinal chemistry was seriously bloody good. People would put in long hours running tricky syntheses with a yield of 1-2 mg of snot. Snot that happened to be potent and selective. These days chemistry is all about making grams and grams of a compound that goes straight into DMPK screens before any proper pharmacology gets done. It's all about process chemistry, nothing elaborate, just make a bucket full of white powder and hope for the best.

If chemists actually went back and did some proper medicinal chemistry they might actually come up with something decent. And if biologists actually went and did some proper work instead of sitting in meetings they might be able to run some of the killer experiments that they used to. And if DMPK monkeys actually stopped thinking they were so friggin' important and stopped interfering with screening cascades the rest of us might get some work done.

It needent take a leap forward to re-invent drug discovery, just less navel-gazing and faffing about.

Nanorobots. Mark my words.

Nanorobots. Mark my words.

No body is any good at drug

No body is any good at drug discovery. 10 to 20 or so years ago all all the easily drugable targets were drugged. Only bits and pieces remain. It will take a truly new leap forward to reinvent drug discovery.

*My point about AZ is that a

*My point about AZ is that a global pharma has a very poor track record about developing it's own cpm's. *

If your measure of success is getting compound into phase III then AZ has been reasonably successful. If you were so confident of the POC of your compound why license it out? why not go all-in and raise the funds for phase III yourselves? Positive phaseIII data would've returned your investment many times over.

For god sake don't mention

For god sake don't mention the war!

Oh, this is all terribly

Oh, this is all terribly amusing. Looky here:

Drug discovery is filled with people who are decent academic scientists. Read again: "decent academic scientists."

You fuckers don't know the first thing about proper drug discovery.

It's all about fancy experiments that keep upper management happy. Not one experiment answers the basic question "does the target work?"

Every time I come to Boifnid I see endless criticism of companies x y and z, yet none of you seem able to ask the basic questions.

"Why are we getting the chop?"

"Why do our drugs not work?"

"Why do our managers hate us?"

My children, regardless of who you work for, perhaps you should be asking different questions.

... And that was how Nazi

... And that was how Nazi Germany started.

My point about AZ is that a

My point about AZ is that a global pharma has a very poor track record about developing it's own cpm's. Discussion should now finish

"It is condescending to imply

"It is condescending to imply all biotechs produce rubbish, take a look at AZ track record (they are one of the companies have worked for).
The we outlicensed to Merck was after extensive PhaseI and PhaseII POC. Compound is now in PhaseIII. Extensive due diligence was carried out prior to outlicensing.Some biotechs can deliver."

yes, it would be condescending to imply ALL biotechs produce rubbish, but then I've not said that, I've said that there are MANY examples of this - AZ licensing from Targacept for example, which also got to Phase III......in fact, looking at AZ's track record with biotechs, as you suggest, would actually support an argument for biotechs being rubbish!

It is condescending to imply

It is condescending to imply all biotechs produce rubbish, take a look at AZ track record (they are one of the companies have worked for).
The we outlicensed to Merck was after extensive PhaseI and PhaseII POC. Compound is now in PhaseIII. Extensive due diligence was carried out prior to outlicensing.Some biotechs can deliver.

"We were a small biotech and

"We were a small biotech and did not have sales people! This is the trouble you people live in a different world" we had one commercial person it was the scientists who did the presentations and made the sale. You may be interested to know we also had offers from GSK and Novartis!"

What do you mean by 'you people'? I've worked for both big pharmas and small biotechs.
No, not really interested in how many offers you had or from who. Selling the compound on is the only thing that matters to the biotech, so well done, but the only measure that matters regarding the quality of the compound is whether it gets through clinical development and on to the market. As I said previously, there are many examples of pharma licensing from biotech (from which the biotech does well) what turns out to be garbage.

We were a small biotech and

We were a small biotech and did not have sales people! This is the trouble you people live in a different world" we had one commercial person it was the scientists who did the presentations and made the sale. You may be interested to know we also had offers from GSK and Novartis!

One issue is people keep

One issue is people keep changing companies - no commitment to the project and all too often they have moved on before the results of their stupidity comes to light.

"I should also say that in my

"I should also say that in my last biotech job we out licensed our compound to Merck, so someone was doing something right!"

Getting a big pharma to license a compound indicates that your sales people have done a good job, it doesn't guarantee the quality of the compound. There's an endless list of compounds that big pharma have licensed from biotechs that have turned out to be garbage.

I have worked in top 6 global

I have worked in top 6 global pharma and in biotech in the UK and Germany. We always had good PKPD and tox data for the preclinical clinical transition. I should also say that in my last biotech job we out licensed our compound to Merck, so someone was doing something right!

"About biotech vs bigpharma

"About biotech vs bigpharma differences.

Biotech
1. Dedication
2. Science focus
3. Strong leadership
4. Science driven/specific technonology driven
5. No clue translational work or what is needed to put a drug on a market
6. Lack of PK/PD relationship/dose-to-man prediction
7. Minimal tox package
8. Sell the idea and get money drives"

Having worked in both big pharma and biotechs I can report that 1 - 3 are as lacking in biotech as they are in big pharma

The 'real scientists' !! How

The 'real scientists' !! How many times have we heard that refrain. 'Its all the middle managers fault'. "They stop us doing our job". Like I said; still blaming each other and anyone else who's not around to defend themselves. Cowardice.

About biotech vs bigpharma

About biotech vs bigpharma differences.

Biotech
1. Dedication
2. Science focus
3. Strong leadership
4. Science driven/specific technonology driven
5. No clue translational work or what is needed to put a drug on a market
6. Lack of PK/PD relationship/dose-to-man prediction
7. Minimal tox package
8. Sell the idea and get money drives

Result: Crappy compound that never would progress in normal big pharma but many new interesting target ideas.

Big pharma:

Vice versa + byrocazy
Result:
No drugs, but fanatastic compound on bad targets..

How do you marry these 2 in biotech units in big pharma. For our sake, hope MP has the answer:-)

Word! Can add. Middle

Word!

Can add. Middle managers that has been promoted because they can decide/have high EQ and only interested in timelines/resource issues etc but can't critically think for them self and therefore can´t lead or give any direction resulting in: 1 promotion of people who knows how to do the talk with no substance. 2 to much time spent on ideas that could have been discarded from the beginning. 3 time being spent on BS experiments instead of key research/experiments. A good manager could easily lead the young scientist into "the right direction". But these managers are not growing on trees. Time for a clean-up in the the top and middle..Tip for higher managers..ask a few "real" scientist on the floor of who to get rid of and when act courageously..

Besides I can see a change towards this direction or intention in that directions..but what to do with the unwanted?

Problem is its not the

Problem is its not the "people capable of running successful R&D units" that are doing it. Its the guys with high mangement ambitions and such a top line approach they can't judge anything critically.

" Bio techs are a bit like

" Bio techs are a bit like snake oil salesman and outsourcing emperors new clothes."

Absolutely and it's the idiots running big pharma. that get sucked into thinking they are the answer to all their problems. Basically 'big pharma' profits can no longer sustain the size of companies they have become and it is inevitable that they need to down size. Farming out R&B to academics, biotechs and CROs is not the answer. Retaining the core of good people capable of running successful R&D units and getting rid of the other hangers on that shuffle paper and 'manage' the external 'collaborations' is. I know that someone will come back with that they are unable to manage successful R&D, but they used to and perhaps it's all the other BS scientists have to deal with that distracts them form doing this these days.

I don't see other phama being

I don't see other phama being successful either. Everyone seems to think outsourcing and small bio tech are the answer but I wonder if it really is. Bio techs are a bit like snake oil salesman and outsourcing emperors new clothes.

Owned

Owned

"Talking of MedImmune - isn't

"Talking of MedImmune - isn't it about time that the Cambridge UK site was 'rationalized'? What has that site produced - ever??"

CAT was pretty successful and the star of the British biotech. industry until poisoned by the AZ acquisition.

The only unlucky people are

The only unlucky people are the ones still at AZ. You should have moved on whilst you had the chance. The only constant at AZ is the amount of bitching that goes on. Even when a site is closed you can't resist a dig. What an unhealthy environment. Zeneca and Astra was a failed merger. Nothing came of it.

Cambridge Antibody Technology

Cambridge Antibody Technology were responsible for both Humira and Benlysta.

Talking of MedImmune - isn't

Talking of MedImmune - isn't it about time that the Cambridge UK site was 'rationalized'? What has that site produced - ever??

Does recruitment freeze apply

Does recruitment freeze apply to Mediummune in MD?

Well now! Mölndal has a

Well now! Mölndal has a recruitment freeze on as we speak. It's unofficial, they are still advertising (to avoid undue panic) but there is a block on 99% of new hires. Looks like the axeman cometh for the Swedes.

Of course the Swedes are

Of course the Swedes are going. Day in the life of a Swedish researcher:
8am go to work. Have coffee and breakfast.

8.30 meeting.

9.00 meeting.

10.00 meeting

11.00 lunch.

13.00 meeting

14.30 start an experiment.

14.37 give up on experiment du to reagent shortage.

14.38 coffee and cake

15.30 meeting

16.30 go home.
About as productive as a rhododendron and slightly more toxic.

You missed at least 2 coffee breaks, 1 x stab someone in the back, and every now and again go on sick leave with stress from all the coffee breaks.

All the staff spent so much

All the staff spent so much time moaning there was no time for lab work.

"The Charnwwod site is very

"The Charnwwod site is very quite these days. There's an eerie hush walking the paths along the outside of the fences - like the research labs when everyone was in the latest project management meeting"

The labs at Charnwood were ALWAYS eerily quiet!.....apart from when there a was a visitor coming and the order went out from management to make it 'look' like people were working in the labs

Tent day 21st March. Alderley

Tent day 21st March. Alderley ostriches, beware.

Loughborough site is dead,

Loughborough site is dead, gone move on

Let us know when the tents go

Let us know when the tents go up.

The Charnwwod site is very

The Charnwwod site is very quite these days. There's an eerie hush walking the paths along the outside of the fences - like the research labs when everyone was in the latest project management meeting.
The car parks are filling up with bales of discarded plastic coutesy of JayPlas.

"Clearly AZ need a new R&I

"Clearly AZ need a new R&I and CVGI centre. There's one just of the A6 in the Loughborough that's about the perfect size for a streamlined organisation. Now if only that site had a history of delivering R&I and CVGI products... oh wait... it does!"

As someone who worked at Charnwood for many years I'd say that's stretching it a bit. The last thing to come out of Charnwood was Brilinta and that dates back to the 90's and it's hardly been a runaway success - global annual sales of Brilinta for 2012 were a paltry $89million so nothing to shout about. The whole of AZ since the merger has been completely unproductive, no site can escape the blame.

"What?! The sacred cow of

"What?! The sacred cow of Alderley Park is vulnerable - I think not"

Sacred Cow or Fatted Calf?

Clearly AZ need a new R&I and

Clearly AZ need a new R&I and CVGI centre. There's one just of the A6 in the Loughborough that's about the perfect size for a streamlined organisation. Now if only that site had a history of delivering R&I and CVGI products... oh wait... it does!

"What?! The sacred cow of

"What?! The sacred cow of Alderley Park is vulnerable - I think not"

RIRA and CVGI at Alderley have already been closed. Only oncology is left and Soriot has not mentioned that as one of his priorities for AZ - Alderley is definitely vulnerable.

Fully agree on R&I status,

Fully agree on R&I status, even if there might be a few promising projects left, frequent strategies changes will probably mange to kill them to. Really amazing that they think that changing focus every year can improve the pipeline when it takes 8-10 year to develop a new product. I was formerly in RI and was sacked. I have new job now and is very happy to have left AZ. It will not be a fun trip the coming years.

Although its not all roses at

Although its not all roses at AP
9.00 arrive have coffee
9.30 plan the day
10.00 hr meeting
10.30 meeting with boss to review yesterday
11.00 coffee
1130 review plan for the day
12.00 stab someone in the back
12.30 lunch
1.30 make a presentation
2.30 meeting to congratulate team on how successful we are
3.00 coffee
4.00 review plan for the day - no time for experiment so add to plan for tomorrow
4.30 go home

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