Why so many biotechnology start-ups, like Theranos, fail

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Two years after the $9 billion start-up “unicorn” Theranos crumbled, Silicon Valley still appears to be struggling to learn its lesson when it comes to health and medical start-ups. Improbable-sounding companies continue to turn up with tens of millions of dollars in funding, no published research to back them up, and nothing but criticism from scientists.

 

Venture-capital firms insist that the standard that needs to be met for investment is much higher for medical start-ups, which must prove that their technology works with data, not just a pitch. And yet somehow, when these start-ups finally surface to public consciousness, they don’t appear to pass even the most basic smell test with literally any experienced researcher in the field.

There is a pervasive sense in Silicon Valley, bolstered by ten years of world-conquering success, that any sufficiently intelligent, sufficiently driven person can will what they want.

But the “move fast and break things” mantra that has helped Silicon Valley disrupt countless industries over the last two decades is more dangerous when applied to medical science…The “things” being broken by health start-ups are laws of science and ironclad guidelines for research. When a health start-up “moves fast and breaks things,” it can directly result in the death, dismemberment, and injury of real people.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Silicon Valley Keeps Getting Biotechnology Wrong

For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia

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