At yesterday’s Brown Bag Lunch, Joe CMO gave a fascinating talk on drug development. The take away theme was all about managing failure because in this industry we fail more than we succeed.
I’m being absolutely 100% serious here. The majority of novel therapies currently in development will fail within the next 10 years. If the drug development is done right, these drugs will be weeded out before the first human is dosed. By this time, already $100 million will have been spent in development. And rightfully so.
Think about it. Which one of you wants to be the first to take my new investigational drug? What if I told you that it is indicated (used) for faster running? My guess is that you would want to know what the risk would be. You would also want to know the benefits or just how fast will it make you. At this point, I couldn’t tell you a whole lot but hopefully I would have ruled out some of the major issues.
But this post isn’t really about drug development. It’s about running, racing, me.
When I draw parallels from Joe’s talk on drug development to my own development as a marathoner, I think about the concept of managing failure. I have 14 failed attempts at Boston Qualification. The 1st marathon doesn’t count as my only goal was to finish. Correction: I actually had a goal to finish in 4 hours or less. I finished in 4:02 so technically, I failed here too.
I think it’s time for a post-hoc analysis.
That is IF I was a statistician I’d do a post-hoc analysis. My own analysis is rather UNanalytical.
It’s so easy to come up with a reason for each failure: injuries, weather, Grandma dying, those damn hills. Seriously!
What if this were pharma and I was a share holder? I’d be questioning why walking was allowed in Napa 2004. Or why the port-o-potty stop at Santa Barbara? I’d be asking why it’s okay to spend money on a “training marathon” when marathons are technically races.
If we are in the business of managing failure, then wouldn’t it be prudent to do everything in our power to optimize success? I’m just saying.