New Pharma Vs. Big Pharma In 'The Antidote'15:08

This article is more than 7 years old.

In 1989, rising star Joshua Boger left his job at the world's second-biggest-selling drug company, Merck Pharmaceuticals, to form his own pharma company in a refitted garage in Cambridge. Vertex Pharmaceuticals was born, but at the time, it was thought to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

Journalist Barry Werth captured the company's early days in his 1994 book, "The Billion Dollar Molecule." 20 years, two large-scale drug launches, and two towers on Boston's waterfront later, Werth takes a new look at Vertex and its place in the $325 billion prescription drug industry in his sequel, "The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma."

Barry will be speaking at the MIT Media Lab this Thursday, March 20 at 5 p.m.


Barry Werth, award-winning journalist and author of several books, including "The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma."


The Boston Globe: Companies Setting Aside Space For Startups

  • "Demolition began last month to clear the way for a 30,000-square-foot expansion at the headquarters of Constant Contact, a digital marketing firm in Waltham. But the new space won’t just house Constant Contact employees. The new 'InnoLoft' will invite a handful of startups developing new products for small businesses to shack up for four month stretches, rent free."

CNN Money: What Ails Big Pharma

  • "One of America's most far-seeing companies, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, the biopharmaceutical startup so memorably chronicled in journalist Barry Werth's classic book, The Billion Dollar Molecule: The Quest for the Perfect Drug, is back."

WBUR: Biotech Firm Vertex To Cut 175 Jobs In Mass.

  • "Vertex Pharmaceuticals says it plans to eliminate about 15 percent of its worldwide workforce, including about 175 positions in Massachusetts."

This segment aired on March 19, 2014.