Corporate Espionage Is Real — Even In The Pharma Industry
By Jonathan Snyder
Imagine you spent the past 15 years of your life passionate about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. You stayed up nights struggling to continue your research, yet you were running out of funding. Knowing your competitors were years behind your research, you finally found your angel investor who provided the seed capital you needed — but with the time-sensitive precondition that you must provide a return on investment within two years or they would pull your financing.
A year later, your team made incredible headway into your research. Passionate about his work, one of your most seasoned research scientists innocently had taken his research home on his laptop. While he was traveling home for the weekend via the airlines, he logged on to the free airport Wi-Fi to check his emails. Sounds innocent enough, right? Six months later, though, a competitor that the industry previously discounted as unworthy of concern, starts to announce eerily familiar breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research. You scratch your head, wondering how they could have made the same advancements as you in such record speed. In six more months, they received a patent for the drug and went public with the cure for Alzheimer’s, not to mention reaping recognition and profit for the work your team created. Fifteen years of your life’s work is in someone else’s hands, and your company’s investors and employees bail. Now what? This story may sound far-fetched to you, but it is much closer to the truth than you know.