______________________________Arrow-Pushing in Organic Chemistry: An Easy Approach to Understanding Reaction Mechanisms, 2nd Edition (111899132X) cover image

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Strategies for Success in Virtual Drug Development from Discovery to Clinic

Strategies for Success in Virtual Drug Development from Discovery to Clinic
Seminar & Wine Tasting Event

November 1, 2012 – 2:30 - 6:30 pm; Westin Hotel 1 Old Bayshore Highway, Millbrae, CA
 Cost: $80.00 in advance if check received by October 15th, 2012; $95.00 at the door
An interactive seminar and discussion focused on virtual drug development and strategies for success from discovery to clinical trials.

Schedule of Events

 2:30  Registration and networking
3:00  welcome and introduction, William Stevens, Ph.D., Business Development connections, LLC

“Dr. Levy's presentation will focus on current chemistry outsourcing trends, challenges and strategies for success. The goal is to address issues applicable to both early stage medicinal chemistry efforts as well as scale-up and manufacturing.”

Dr. Levy is an experienced organic/medicinal chemist having led the design of novel therapeutic agents targeting cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory disorders. He has broad experience in the chemistry of amino acids/peptides, sugars/carbohydrates, heterocycles, polyethylene glycols and lipids as documented in almost 30 peer reviewed publications and over 11 issued/published United States patents. Dr. Levy held positions at Glycomed, COR Therapeutics, Scios and Intradigm Corporation. As a consultant, Dr. Levy provides medicinal chemistry and manufacturing services to companies interested in small molecule drug discovery/development. Set-up and management of chemistry outsourcing is a key service supporting these sectors. In addition, he provides technical due diligence services, facilitates IP development and supports the filing of grant applications. Dr. Levy received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California - Berkeley.

3:45 - 4:15 "Assessing Compound Developability in Late Lead Opt: Making Wise Choices Under the Gun" - presented by JeffREY Kiplinger, Ph.D.; pRESIDENT & ceo averica discovery services, inc

“The task faced by a medicinal chemistry-driven team in lead optimization has expanded in recent years, and internal resources are always scarce.  Using CROs as resources in the complex job of validating and de-risking a molecule before proceeding to a full development effort is a solution, but management and coordination of those resources is challenging.  This presentation will discuss ways in which in house capabilities and the decision-making process can be aligned and aimed at moving the best candidate compound forward.”

Dr. Kiplinger has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, initially as a mass spectrometrist and analytical chemist and later as a strategic consultant to startup discovery organizations.  Presently he is CEO of Averica Discovery Services, an analytics Contract Research Organization in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Dr. Kiplinger received his PhD at Indiana University and carried out postdoctoral projects at the University of North Carolina and Ohio State University.  In 1988 he joined Pfizer’s drug discovery organization, leaving in 1998 to found the Gilson CIDT technical center.  After consulting with a number of pharmaceutical companies and entrepreneurs, he founded Averica in 2007.

4:15 - 4:30 - Break


"This presentation will propose a rational approach of clinical trial enrollment based on pre-trial study to evaluate drug pharmacology and uptake by target organ or tumor. Patients are administered a tracer dose of treatment drug lightly labeled with 14C to permit detection by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The dose may be reduced to less than 100 micrograms to eliminate pharmacologic effect, yet allow assessment of tracer kinetics and target tissue or tumor uptake. Patients are then stratified as "high" versus "low" responders, based on empirical assessment of drug pharmacology. Patients showing poor drug pharmacology and/or target uptake may be excluded from the longer phase of the study. Enrollment based on positive pharmacology may affect successful outcome in the larger trial. This systems biology approach of "pharmaco-phenotyping" personalized to each patient may allow addressing a wider range of diseases, especially ones influenced by complex gene networks, pathways, and environmental modulators."

Gary Jones, MD, Director of Clinical Development – C3 Research. As Director of Clinical Development, Gary uses his 20 years of experience and expertise, accumulated through his careers in academia, medical care, and clinical research, to enjoy direct involvement in the clinical development of both medical devices and therapeutics.  He received his M.D. at the Oregon Health Sciences University had has had academic appointments at University of North Carolina and OHSU. Especially interested in “pushing the boundaries of the box” of clinical development in oncology, he is directly involved in the aspects of both development and running of clinical trials, medical monitoring, interpreting results and moving aspects of data forward in a practical way to bring therapeutics to the market that help people with critical needs in any area of medicine.

5:00 - 5:30 "Preclinical DMPK without a lab:  A study in CRO partnering" - presented by Roderic Cole, Ph.D.

"As the pharmaceutical industry moves toward increasingly heavy reliance on external resources, effective management of CRO relationships has become critical. In many situations, researchers manage several programs in multiple organizations. Interactions become transactional, with little/no opportunity to anticipate problems or to arrive at creative solutions.  Key missing elements are the researcher and project team interactions which are typical in classical organizations.  This talk will look at strategies to optimize working relationships between sponsor and CRO staff to maximize the value of the outsourcing dollar."

Rod is currently Director, Analytical Sciences at Cerulean Pharma in Cambridge, MA where he oversees analytical, bioanalytical and is involved with preclinical DMPK.  He has broad experience in the pharmaceutical industry where he has worked for Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Abbott, and Millennium in various roles.  His early work focused on analytical and bioanalytical chemistry in a discovery setting.  Over the last 6 years, he has focused on development and applications of high throughput ADME and pharmacokinetic techniques to support drug discovery and development programs.  Rod attended University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he earned a PhD in Chemistry.

5:30 - 6:30 - Networking, Winemaker Talk and Wine Tasting, Light Appetizers hosted by Business Development Connections, LLC and Vintner Jeff Hall of Williamson Wines

Sponsored By:
Business Development Connections, LLC
C3 Research and Associates
Agilux Laboratories
Averica Discovery Services, Inc.

Please mail checks to: Business Development Connections
                                       336 Bon Air Center, # 228
                                        Greenbrae, CA 94904

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Letter to Gray Davis

On February 23, 2011, I attended a symposium where both Gavin Newsom and Gray Davis were speaking.  Following the program, I had separate brief discussions with each.  These discussions were focused on the current state of the biotech/pharma industries - specifically related to continued trends in mergers, acquisitions, layoffs and site closures.  As both individuals spoke about their contributions to and support for the biotech/pharma industries in California, I was happy to have had those interactions.

In response to our conversation, Gray Davis asked me to send him an email regarding what is happening to scientists who were displaced by the ongoing industry contraction.  Below is the text of that email.

Dear Governor Davis,

It was a pleasure to meet you yesterday afternoon.  I enjoyed your talk and truly appreciate all you have done to build QB3 and related organizations.  Having served the biopharmaceutical industry for over 18 years, I can tell you with complete certainty that these efforts are making a difference in fostering the abilities of innovative scientists to create truly novel and beneficial technologies.  In following up with our discussion, I want to describe my perspective of the biopharmaceutical industry as it relates to mergers/acquisitions and employees.

Since receiving my PhD from MIT in 1992, I worked for four companies.  The first company, Glycomed, was purchased by Ligand Pharmaceuticals in a stock/stock transaction.  During the year following the merger, we experienced several rounds of layoffs followed by the complete closure of Glycomed in 1997.  In April of 1998, I joined COR Therapeutics.  Like Glycomed, COR merged with Millennium Pharmaceuticals and was subsequently closed in 2003. As the pattern of corporate activities were similar in the Glycomed and COR mergers, I felt I knew what to look for in times of transition.  So when Scios, my next employer, was purchased by Johnson & Johnson in 2003 in an all-cash transaction, I felt that this merger would be productive.  Unfortunately, in 2006, Johnson & Johnson elected to close Scios and lay off all of the 600 employees. Following a ten month period of consulting, I joined Intradigm Corporation as the Director of Synthetic Chemistry.  Yet again, this company was merged with another and subsequently shut down.

Governor Davis, it is clear that business decisions are driven by the needs of investors and shareholders.  However, in the currently contracting economy, there are not enough new companies forming to absorb the number of talented scientists left without work.  While many corporate recruiters are suggesting that the job climate is improving, in January of this year, layoffs were announced at Elan, Genentech, Kai and Exelixis.  These local events are in addition to many more in both biotech and large pharma that are almost regularly being announced.

Yesterday afternoon, you asked me to write to you regarding what happens to those impacted by corporate downsizings.  Sadly, while some move on to new companies, others remain unemployed for longer periods of time.  Still others choose to leave their professions in favor of alternatives leading to employment.  In the area of chemistry, Chemical and Engineering News recently stated that the unemployment rate for medicinal chemists is higher than any other chemistry discipline - a problem that cannot solely be blamed on outsourcing.  The amount of unutilized talent applicable to drug discovery and development is now truly staggering.

While investors are pushing for returns, big pharma and biotech companies are now trending towards increased development activities and de-emphasizing research.  The long-term results of this trend will include fewer new medications being approved.  The peak of this problem will begin to manifest itself in approximately 10-15 years - the end of the discovery/development cycle timeline for new projects initiated today.  As our population continues to age, significant markets are already established for which there are unmet medical needs.

Regarding the next generation, the current climate is having a significant impact on decisions to pursue education in the life sciences.  After all, if student do not see a future in this industry, what is their motivation?  Furthermore, the current climate is disruptive to families.  One specific example involves a friend of mine who was relocated by Roche, with his family, from California to New Jersey following the closure of Roche Palo Alto.  After only one year, Roche executed a corporate downsizing effectively stranding my friend and his family in an unfamiliar state with no income.

While the current economy is challenging, there is reason to be optimistic.  Advances in genetic sequencing are creating new opportunities likely to impact the future of healthcare.  One area in particular involves new paradigms bringing together novel therapeutic agents and companion diagnostics.  This approach of personalized medicine has the potential to determine which patient populations will respond to specific therapeutics.  While patient population sizes will be smaller, this paradigm opens the possibility for many more markets targeted to specific sub-populations. Therapeutics will be more effective and non-responders will be minimized.

While I cannot provide all of the answers in this email, I want to reiterate my interest in joining task forces where I can contribute to finding solutions for these difficult problems.  Please contact me at your convenience so that we can discuss this in greater detail.

Best wishes,


While political activities and policy development tend to take time to evolve, it has been over a year and a half since this letter was written.  To date, I have not received a response (or even an acknowledgement of receipt) from Governor Davis' office.  From Gavin Newsom's office, I was asked to review a new biotechnology policy platform scheduled to be rolled out during the summer of 2011. Even with my follow-up, I have yet to see any information regarding this new policy - even one year later.

To both Gray Davis and Gavin Newsom, biotechnology is a cornerstone industry in California.  It delivers hope to those suffering from ailments for which no cures exist.  It also continues to provide novel therapeutics effectively improving the quality of life for multitudes who, without this industry, would continue to suffer.

Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are industries in transition. Opportunities now exist to influence the shape of new paradigms which will be applied to these industries.  Let's hope that the politicians at the center of this transition utilize the insight and experience of those who actively contribute to these industries.  As for me, I will be very happy to help.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Creating Opportunities in the Life Sciences

This coming Tuesday, I will be speaking on "Creating Opportunities in the Life Sciences - Maintaining Self Employment in a Difficult Job Climate."

Date:  Tuesday, August 28

Time:  8:30am
Location:  Sunnyvale City Council Chambers, 456 West Olive Ave., Sunnyale, CA

Abstract:  In today's difficult economy, many sectors have been impacted. Among the hardest hit are the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. With almost twice the unemployment rate compared to the national average, these sectors present significant challenges to those wishing to contribute to the development of innovative solutions to healthcare problems. As a 20 year veteran of biopharma, Dr. Daniel E. Levy will share his experiences transitioning from full time employment to consultant. Topics will include challenges in managing CROs, leveraging services for resources, networking and marketing. In this tough economy, there are plenty of reasons for not getting paid. However, there are no excuses for not working. Learn how to create opportunities.

This talk is designed to provide insight and encouragement to those taking on the currently challenging job market.  More information can be found at the Bio2Device Group website.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Are there any jobs in Medicinal Chemistry? And how can I get one?

Through my efforts to provide encouraging information and strategies for those interested in life sciences careers, I will occationally invite guest bloggers to provide their thoughts.  My first guest blogger is Connie Hampton - founder of Hampton Associates and provider of scientific and executive search services.  Connie's blog is highlited in my blog list.  More information regarding her background and services can be found on her website (www.hamptonexecutivesearch.com).

Are there any jobs in Medicinal Chemistry? And how can I get one?

There are over 7,000 IPhone developer jobs today on SimplyHired.com and only 500 Medicinal Chemistry positions.  This is only 1/5 of the total jobs, but the other 4/5ths are filled before they are posted. Obviously it is much harder to get a job in Medicinal Chemistry than IPhone development.  These jobs are all over the world, from summer (unpaid) intern to Principal Scientist and Professor.  If you are one of the many students of medicinal chemistry about to graduate, how are you going to compete? 

Job Search is Tough and You were Never Taught How

Today’s economy is especially tough on small therapeutics companies.  Seed money is hard to find and further financing is even harder to get.  Since it takes 100 ideas and at least 10 years from proof-of-concept to marketed drug, the venture capitalists are putting their money into IPhone development in order to spend less than a year to get 4+ times their investment.   Medicinal chemistry is necessary in both large and small molecule drugs, but there are fewer companies and simply fewer positions than there used to be.

The solution to finding a job under these circumstances is to take on the task of finding a job as a job, to “hunt your own head” and become your own “job fairy”.
  1. Put in no fewer than 20 hours/week and preferably 30-40.
  2. Write, for your own use as a pool of phrases, what you bring to the table in the way of skills and cutting-edge knowledge
  3. Write your approximate overall career goal.
  4. Decide, geographically, where you want to work.  Will you move or will you commute?
  5. Start a database of all the companies within your commute distance which use the skills you have and can provide you with the next step in moving you closer to your goal.
  6. Start a database of the people you know, where they work and how to get in touch with them.
  7. Sync these two databases with each other.  Which companies do you already have a personal connection in?  Which do you need to get (at least) one?
  8. Start networking!  Up to 80% of jobs are filled by networking and only 20% by job boards
This is just the homework part of job search.  The next step is getting out there and meeting people to find out who has a problem you can solve.  Do you know how to network?

Networking is when you give something of value to the other person (that does not cost you much) and get something that you value (that doesn’t cost them much).  You give time, attention, information and you get time, attention and information. 

The first person you want to network with in a company that you are interested in should be someone who is NOT the hiring manager and NOT a person in the department that you want.  You need to know if the company is financially stable, a good place to work and fits with your idea of a good company.  Who of your connections is able to tell you these things?  You need to give them the gift of your attention.  Ask: “how do you like your job?”  and “what is it like to work there?” and “are they hiring or laying off?”

If the company sounds good, THEN you want to be introduced to someone in your preferred department.  You need to find out if they are working on any problems that you could help solve and present yourself as someone who could do so.  If they have a problem that is NOT one that you want to solve, then ask the same questions as above and move on.  But if they are working on something that appeals to you, have a very “geeky” conversation – ask really good questions, display your understanding of the issues.  At the end of the conversation, do NOT beg for a job. Do NOT hand them your resume.  Instead say, “What an interesting problem!  You must be having so much fun!” even if you know that it is not being fun for them. 
Then go home and put the person and company in your Gist.com database.  This site will sweep the internet for any mention of the person or company and look in Twitter, Facebook and blogs to find them.  This will allow you to email this person once a week with “saw this and thought of you” emails and therefore stay on the top of their minds.  When their boss and hiring manager realizes that the problem is not getting solved with the people he is already paying, the first thing he will ask is “Who do we know?”  Your name will be the one that comes up.

Stay in touch with your contacts in the departments of the companies you want to work for.

Keep checking their websites in case your job gets posted.

Stay alert to other ways that the company may be looking for you.

But keep on networking your way through the list of companies that hire people with your talents.

This is your career network and it will last you for the rest of your career.  You will help these people find jobs and they will help you.

Connie is a scientific and executive search consultant and a purple squirrel hunter – after a company has exhausted their network, posted the job and not found the right person, they turn to her to find that hard-to-find MD or PhD or MBA.

She started recruiting early in the history of the worldwide web.  While she does not restrict herself to just the web, she stays on the cutting edge of social media and makes full use of it in finding the right people for her clients.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Biotechnology and the Dot-Com Era

Earlier this month, I attended the CalBio2012 conference in San Francisco. Among the attendees were venture capitalists and executives from biotech and pharma companies around the world. The two days of panel discussions and keynote addresses focused on all aspects of these industries from financing strategies to reimbursement issues. As a networking event and major local conference, I found the topics highly relevant. However, of all the sessions, I found the lunch keynote speeches to be the most inspiring.

The keynote address on day one of the conference was particularly noteworthy. The speaker was John Crowley. To those of you who don't know, this is the man who risked his career to head up a company focused on finding a treatment for Pompe Disease – a terminal illness affecting his two children.

Pompe disease is a condition where glycogen is not cleared from cells. This leads to cell death, organ failure, paralysis and death. While the story of how the treatment was ultimately found and developed is truly an inspiring example of the hope and promise that biotechnology brings to this world, this story is not the focus of this post. For an excellent interpretation of the Pompe disease story, I highly recommend the Harrison Ford movie "Extraordinary Measure" which focuses on the Crowley family and their journey.

Instead of focusing on Pompe Disease, I thought it would be relevant, especially in today's economy, to comment on a small part of Crowley's speech describing previous attitudes towards investments in biotechnology. As you all know, investments in early stage biotechnology companies are considered highly risky. This is largely due to the roughly 15 year timeline from concept to market coupled with the 6% success rate for small molecule drug candidates completing clinical trials and becoming marketed therapeutic agents.

In the 1980s, VC financing and IPO interest in biotechnology companies were abundant. It seemed that any company incorporating the letters G, E and N in its name was likely to obtain needed funds. Examples include Genentech, Biogen, Genencor, Gensia, Amgen and many more. It will also be no surprise that all of these companies were running operating losses during their initial financing periods. Relevant to the Crowley keynote speech is his description of interactions he had with a venture capitalist while serving as CEO for a biotech company. Paraphrasing Crowley's narrative, the dialog went something like this:

VC: So, how are your sales?
Crowley: Well, we currently don't have any sales.
VC: I see. How strong are your revenues?
Crowley: Actually, we presently don't have any source of income.
VC: Interesting. When will your product be ready for market?
Crowley: Uncertain. There can be no guarantee that our product will ever be ready for market.

The above dialog summarizes the reality of the biotechnology industry from its inception to the present. The only driving force behind the ability to finance companies with long term operating losses and no guarantee of success was the hope and promise of a better future. For a long time, this was enough. Investors were interested and biotechnology was the only industry that could justifiably operate under this business model.

Let's now move ahead to the 1990s. In this period, a new industry emerged - the internet. With the evolution of the internet came may entrepreneurs eager to capitalize on the promise of e-commerce. Whether selling products or focusing on business-to-business services, investors were jumping into this new sector with hopes of making large profits and quick exits. While some of these dot-com companies had solid business models, most eventually came and went. That did not stop the massive ballooning of the IPO market. While some people did, in fact, realize significant returns on their investments, most did not. So, when the investing community had had enough, the dot-com bubble burst and the NASDAQ plummeted from its "irrationally exuberant" highs. Ultimately, much of this downturn rests on the dot-com companies attempting to adopt the biotechnology model of selling shares while operating at a loss.

Recognizing that the dot-com bubble had collapsed, investors next turned to the smaller "biotech bubble". While the dot-com IPO boom did have an impact on biotech, the size of this bubble was far less significant than that related to the internet. After all, it is the internet-based industries that are better understood by the investing public. Nevertheless, following the dot-com bust, biotech stocks fell. The investment community had had enough of high-risk markets and money dried up.

When I hear people tell me that the biotechnology business model is broken, I point out that the model never changed. It is today, what it was in the 80s - highly speculative and full of promise. What has changed, however, is the risk-tolerance of investors. Where biotech companies used to be able to obtain financing at research stages, they now find themselves lucky if they can attract financing when achieving positive results in phase II clinical trials.

While the biotechnology business model is not broken, it is obsolete. Clearly, investors want less risk and the future of innovative drug-discovery efforts depends upon the industry's ability to adapt during these challenging times. Unfortunately, no amount of adapting can fully bridge the divide from identification of development candidates to entry into clinical trials. The expenses are simply too high.

The interplay between innovation and venture financing has always been a partnership. Extending partnerships requires effort and compromise on both sides. While I routinely work with early stage companies to find cost-effective ways to advance their programs, the investment community must also come to the plate. This country was built on taking risks. Continuing our leadership in innovation requires continually taking risks. Ask the Crowley family. I am sure they would agree.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Life Science Careers - Questions from Soon-To-Be Graduates

Two years ago, I was invited to participate as a career mentor at the California State University Biotechnology Symposium.  At that time, I addressed questions asked by students contemplating careers in the life sciences - specifically relating to medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.  I had a great time meeting with the students and listening to their interests and concerns.  So, when I was asked to participate at this year's event, I readily accepted the opportunity.

At the time of my participation two years ago, the economy was at a very low point.  Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies were routinely downsizing and outsourcing of chemistry was the rule rather than the exception.  However, the questions asked by the participating students were not focused on the economy.  Instead, the questions clustered into four distinct groups:
  • Questions about medicinal chemistry
  • Questions about career paths
  • Questions about employment opportunities
  • Questions about relevant knowledge and experience
What was remarkable about the questions coming from this years session was that the interests and concerns of the students were completely different compared to two years ago.  In this post, I present the questions raised by participating students.  Over the next few months, I will address each question in detail.  As I work through this exercise, I encourage all readers of this blog to ask additional related questions.

Questions Asked by Life Science Students

As in 2010, I was truly impressed with the questions asked at the mentoring session.  These questions, paraphrased below, reflect the evolving discussions encompassed by this blog.  The questions raised, organized by topic, are:

Questions About Education and Employment
  • In what ways can I be valuable to companies?
  • What are the differences between workforce personnel with undergraduate degrees vs graduate degrees?
  • How can practical experience be built favoring employment in medicinal chemistry?
  • What opportunities/career paths are available for foreign job applicants?
  • Does the quality of an educational institution carry any weight?
  • What perceptions exist relative to job applicants with degrees from foreign countries?
  • What are the financial benefits for PhD employees compared to BS/MS employees right out of school?
Questions About Roles and Opportunities in Drug Discovery Organizations
  • Are there interdisciplinary opportunities available for medicinal chemists in other functional areas related to drug discovery?
  • Is a PhD required to lead a project?
  • How do organic chemists interact with biologists?
  • Can a biologist become a medicinal chemist?
  • Is computational chemistry important to medicinal chemistry?
  • How does a molecular biologist fit into a drug discovery organization?
  • Is medicinal chemistry only relevant to drug discovery?
Questions About Medicinal Chemistry and the Drug Discovery Process
  • How does the drug discovery process begin?
  • What is involved in drug discovery from concept to market?
  • Is medicinal chemistry used in veterinary medicine?
  • Are animal models still used in drug discovery?
  • What is the transition point from animal models to human clinical trials?
  • How much medicinal chemistry is dedicated to making small quantities of many compounds vs large quantities of fewer compounds?
  • What is the importance of making derivatives of natural products?
  • Do medicinal chemists collaborate with physicians?
  • Do medicinal chemists collaborate with biochemists?
Questions About Business Strategies
  • Is there pressure to get new products out the door?
  • Can old drugs be used for new indications?
As with my previous series, it is my hope that those of you following this blog will add your voices and opinions to mine thus enhancing the breadth of insight provided to the next generation of students entering the life sciences workforce.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recent Activities and Future Plans - I'm Still Here!!!

My apologies for the long delay since my last post.  Since beginning this blog, I strive to post at least once per month.  Unfortunately, due to a very busy end-of-the-year, blogging slipped.

As you are aware from the content of my posts and from my personal website (www.DELbiopharma.com), I am a consultant providing the following services:
  • design and implementation of medicinal chemistry programs
  • chemistry outsourcing management
  • technical due diligence
As a consultant, it is absolutely essential for me to continually network and market my services.  Time for these activities must be allotted in addition to the time that I spend working with my clients. From all aspects, the combination of scientific engagement and personal interactions is unparalleled to any employment situation I experienced prior to becoming a consultant.  That being said, I would like to focus this post on both highlights of the past 6 months and events planned for the near future.

Recent Activities

During the second half of the summer, I had a full load of clients - all with unique needs.  One in particular required the synthesis of several compounds within an extremely aggressive timeline.  After contacting seven different contract research organizations (CROs), I was able to identify one that was willing to take on this project within the parameters of the required timeline.  I am happy to say that this project, arguably the most difficult assignment I took on, was completed on time with all objectives met.

As indicated above, networking is critical to the establishment of a contract pipeline.  As such, I regularly go to local networking events and conferences.  The following is a list of groups I find particularly interesting in the San Francisco area:
In August, I was asked to present a talk at a BABCN event entitled "Creating Opportunities - Generating Consulting Income in a Hostile Market."  This talk was well attended and I received a great deal of positive feedback.

In January, I participated in the CSU Biotechnology Symposium as a career mentor.  The following week, I attended the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.  One week later, I attended the Personalized Medicine World Conference.

As a follow-up to my BABCN presentation in August, I was invited to write a guest blog covering a key component of my consulting activities - identifying, engaging and managing CROs.  This blog was posted on January 31 and can be found at http://hamptonexecutivesearch.com/?p=1497.

Future Activities

Having brought you up to date from the past 6 months, the following is a list of plans for the near term.

As networking is essential to my ongoing consulting activities, I plan to attend the following conferences:
During the American Chemical Society meeting, I will be speaking as part of a symposium discussing chemistry careers outside of the laboratory.

Finally, as a follow-up to the CSU Biotechnology Symposium in January, I will be posting blogs addressing all of the questions raised at my table during the career mentoring session.  These posts will begin in February and continue until all questions are answered.

As always, I encourage you to bring up any topics you would like discussed in this forum.