Health vs. Wealth
Forbes Indonesia|February 2021
The world is awash in cheap antibiotics. So why is biotech billionaire Bob Duggan trying to make a new one—and how can he possibly make money from it?
Leah Rosenbaum

Bob Duggan could easily have called it a career in 2015, after he sold Pharmacyclics, his cancer-drug biotech, to AbbVie. He was 71 years old and worth some $3 billion. He might well have retreated to his house in Costa Rica, with its giant mural of a green-eyed jaguar cub, and lived out the rest of his life on the beach, surfing and reading books about Scientology. But Duggan, now 76, rejects the idea of retirement. “It’s indigenous in every human to want to make a difference, to exercise their ability and capability,” he says. “It has nothing to do with age.”

In April, Duggan became the CEO of Summit Therapeutics by buying more than 60% of the Nasdaq-traded company for about $63 million. Summit, which was founded in 2003 but has yet to post any meaningful revenue, is developing a new antibiotic for the common but deadly infection Clostridioides difficile (C. diff), which is spread by fecal matter and is often acquired in hospitals and nursing homes. C. diff'itself causes extreme diarrhea and, in severe cases, organ failure and death. Every year almost a quarter-million Americans are infected with C. diff, and 13,000 die.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FORBES INDONESIAView All

LONG BET

Pandu Sjahrir Bets on Unicorn IPOs on the Indonesia Stock Exchange

9 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Japan: the Land of the Rising Stocks

The Japanese equity market is the 3rd largest in the world and responds to global economic conditions more sensitively than other developed markets. Many international investors still associate investing in Japanese equities with “Japan lost decade “ and the narrative of Japan as a country with no growth and a stock market that chronically underperformed the US and even European equities. The coronavirus pandemic has done what seven years of Abenomics could not: push Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark above the 25,000 marks for the first time since 1991.

2 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Indonesia to Establish Electric Battery Corporation

Indonesia is gearing up for establishing an electric battery company to meet the country's prospective development of electric vehicles including motorcycles, cars and buses. The State Owned Enterprises Ministry has been preparing a holding company, Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC) that will build a battery industry for electric vehicles, which was expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.

2 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Room for Recovery

RedDoorz books growth amid pandemic

5 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Infrastructure Review

The World Climate Change Conference, COP26, will be taking place in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Following a period of US indifference to such global discussions as espoused by its predecessor, the new administration's decision to immediately re-join the Paris Accord will help to bring a stronger emphasis and commitment from major global economies to the concrete actions which are needed to address the impacts of climate change on the world's ecosystem. A strong delegation is expected from Indonesia to set out what has been done towards its commitments to cut back carbon emissions as well as to help shape the discussions for future actions.

2 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Researcher - Adi Utarini

Professor Adi Utarini is an Indonesian public health researcher fighting dengue in Indonesia. She worked with the World Mosquito Program (WMP), a joint initiative between Monash University and Gadjah Mada University research team, and has successfully utilized Wolbachia bacteria to fight dengue fever disease - one of the country's major health problems. There were nearly 96,000 infection cases in 2020 in Indonesia with 661 fatalities.

1 min read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Credit Card Killer

Millennials were shunning plastic and supposedly wary of consumer debt. AFFIRM ’s MAX LEVCHIN saw a way to repackage buying now and paying later for younger folks—and it’s made him a billionaire.

7 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Sjamsul Nursalim Clears Wanted List

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) decided to stop its investigation on graft cases surrounding Bank Indonesia Liquidity Support (BLBI) that named Sjamsul Nursalim and his wife Itjih Nursalim as suspects since 10 June 2019.

1 min read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

EV in Indonesia–Execution is the Key

Indonesia is rapidly becoming the citadel of Electric Vehicles (EV) in the Region. The media has been abuzz with news of leading car manufacturers like Hyundai and Toyota exploring to set up their EV factories in Java and, of course, the on-again-off-again news of Tesla setting up their EV battery facility locally.

3 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021

Agrarian Reform in Cities: Options by the Government

Agrarian reform is a goal of the government since the promulgation of the agrarian law of 1960. The agrarian reform concept has also expanded, it's now beyond the redistribution of farms to the farmers but also land to the non-farmers. In cities like Jakarta, farmers are certainly not an essential subject. Instead, illegal houses and illegal occupancies that create slum areas are more problematic. Those are people who live in a building on a land plot that he does not own or cannot prove legal ownership. Never-ending legal disputes involving many parties claiming land ownership are a huge problem to be resolved.

2 mins read
Forbes Indonesia
April 2021