Ironwood, a client of Park Square, uses innovative approaches to foster creativity and keep its team motivated to move drugs forward for patients in need, despite the number of failures they regularly face.
Accepting failure in drug research doesn’t mean an indifference to success, industry executives say. Rather, they want to promote creativity by giving scientists the freedom to fail, and then to bring projects to a close before too many resources are wasted. “We don’t say, “Go fail.’ We want to encourage people to take chances,” said Ironwood CEO Peter Hecht. Ironwood, a 19-year-old firm with about 675 employees and eight drugs in the later stages of development, uses a variety of tactics in an effort to build on its one homegrown drug that made it to market (irritable-bowel drug Linzess). Ironwood began holding “drug wakes” to ease the minds of employees who were upset when the company’s research for its first drug program. failed, R&D chief Mark Currie said.