Pioneers Give Us Hope

By: John Armstrong,  PhD, Managing Director

Terminal diseases have always been with us – chronic infections and inflammatory disorders, too – but advances in biotechnology have brought some cancers to their knees, and some severe, chronic infections and inflammatory disorders that made us feel hopeless in the past have become relegated to background conditions.  Hopelessness comes from thinking that when we face a new threat – or a threat we’ve never been able to defeat before – we must go to war against that threat with weapons that haven’t worked in the past.  But that has never been the case, and we have pioneers to thank for that. Pioneers are trailblazers – they are the fearless geniuses who make it possible for technology to do the impossible.  We must never stop innovating, never stop exploring, never stop facing the challenges, however intimidating or daunting they may seem.

Pioneers are undaunted by the seemingly impenetrable vines and forest undergrowth of cancers that refuse to be cured.  They see inflammatory disorders that relentlessly resist remission as the next game to win.  Pioneers are never the pessimists; they are never the people who pull others down by claiming they’re just being realistic.  Pioneers do not believe in the impossible; they take out their machetes and blaze trails for the rest of us to follow.  We may not always see where they are leading us, but we follow them because they give us hope, and hope makes us strong.  Hope can make us undefeatable, as it has in the past.  Pioneers are the giants upon whose shoulders we stand when we finally see the light, when we reach that ‘Ah ha!’ moment and discover or create a breakthrough in medicine that significantly betters the human condition.

Advances in science and biotechnology are driving breakthroughs in medicine at an unprecedented rate because pioneers are unstoppable.  Never forget that.  This week alone, Dr. Wayne Furman of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis referred to an unprecedented 3-year event-free survival rate after treating pediatric neuroblastoma patients with a novel anti-GD2 antibody (hu14.18K322A).  He said “it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before”, and this means something coming from a doctor who has been practicing in this field for 40 years.  Never give up hope – it’s always darkest before the dawn.  Pioneers are out there.

Today the people of Sweden are singing ‘Santa Lucia’ because this day marks when Saint Lucia brought light into the long, dark winter to bring people hope.  In all parts of the world, people reach a phase of life – like a long, dark winter – where something like Lucia’s light can go a long way in bringing them hope.  As you go into this year’s holiday season in a world where politics and pandemics seem to justify your feelings of hopelessness, keep in mind that pioneers are out there, and they will never quit blazing trails to a new world of possibilities.  They bring us hope when we need it most.

At Outcome Capital, we are a team of bankers and scientists who thrive on supporting pioneers in the life sciences. You are what we live for.  We help you get financed, partnered, and acquired.  We are the ones working to ensure that the trails blazed by pioneers in the life sciences bring the rest of the world into the light.  Stay hopeful.  We’re here when you need us.


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