The Yakatan Rules for Pharma R&D Efficiency #1

“…a man should share the passion and action of his time, at peril of being judged not to have lived”. – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1884 (1841-1935). 


 Welcome to The Yakatan Rules blog, which shares the opinions of Dr. Jerry Yakatan, Chairman, CEO and founder of IriSys.

To set the stage, over the last decade…

The rate of approvals for new molecular entities has not kept pace with application filings:



R&D spending has gone up, but approvals are now headed in the opposite direction:



“Eroom’s Law” is not heartening for pharma companies:



The bottom line, according to the PWC “Pharma 2020” report is that “Pharma must improve its R&D productivity…”

 Which leads us toThe Yakatan Rules for Pharma R&D Efficiency.

 Rule #1 – Establish small discovery teams led by “Drug Finders”

  • Limit # of scientists to fewer than anyone thinks necessary

  • Scientists vs scientist-technicians

  • Eliminate “silo” approach

  • Culture/passion


Limiting the number of scientists to fewer than anyone thinks necessary is not self-evident -and at first glance it’s not what the scientists in your organization want to hear.  But smaller, more empowered groups tend to be more creative, interactive and focused.

Eliminating the “silo” approach is key for a well-functioning organization.  This is particularly true for pharma companies, where drug discovery and development is complex, time-consuming, and expensive.  Open lines of communication and an interdisciplinary approach reduce redundancy and enable more efficient go/no-go decisions.  Collaboration is key!

Culture and passion at a company influence whether employees are excited about a project or dread coming into work each morning.  The IriSys culture is defined by a belief that our people – highly regarded scientists and engineers, functional experts, diligent administrative professionals, and a dedicated management team – are the core of our organization.  We appreciate each other’s capabilities and treat everyone with respect and as equals.

We are passionate about our work, our company, and helping our clients get their new drugs to market quickly and efficiently!