The Future of BioPasteur

Essay by ceremcavdarUniversity, Bachelor's November 2014

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The Future of BioPasteur BioPasteur is at a crossroads. The company's founders are split on a decision that is critical to its future. Since they are friends and do not like conflict, they hired PSL and Co. to act as an external arbiter. You are a senior consultant at PSL and Co. Please read the case and answer the question at the end of it. Before he became an entrepreneur, Jeff Thompson was a talented mathematician. Born in Philadelphia on June 1st 1968, Thompson received a degree in mathematics summa cum laude at the University of Pennsylvania. A lover of game theory and probability theory, Jeff did not like risk. But, ironically, in 2002, after he completed a Ph.D. in biological engineering at MIT, Jeff, his classmate Arnold Hand, and the famous MIT chemistry professor Amy Waitz founded BioPasteur, a biotech venture. BioPasteur aspired to exploit the opportunities created by what Arnold and Jeff considered to be a breakthrough innovation. During their Ph. D. days, Arnold and Jeff had developed a technology that allowed micro- organisms to be grown quickly in a controlled environment (i.e., 200 times faster than current technologies allow) and inexpensively (i.e., 1% the cost of currently available technology). At that point, however, there were few applications for this technology, and all were related to the development of new drugs that use special types of micro-organisms to cure diseases by killing (i.e., eating) the substances or bacteria that cause such diseases. Pharmaceutical companies knew this category of drugs had great potential, but never invested in them because of the difficulty and cost of growing micro-organisms. Amy Waitz was the worldwide specialist in this sector. Instead of selling the technology to pharmaceutical firms, which were not ready to embrace it, the team had decided to...