For Blood and Money - Summary and Key Ideas

'For Blood and Money' dives deep into the high stakes world of biotech and pharmaceuticals, following the quest for a blockbuster BTK inhibitor drug. The book unveils the messy, expensive, and often heart-breaking realities behind drug development, where brilliant ideas can languish in corporate pipelines and hard-nosed venture capitalists hold the purse strings required to make visions into reality. It gives a meticulous account of the roller-coaster journey from drug discovery to commercialization, narrating through the noticeable characters leaving indelible marks on the path.

This book is ideal for readers interested in the intriguing world of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, venture capitalism, and success stories. It is an excellent choice for those who enjoy real-life tales of resilience, determination, and breakthroughs in the realm of biologic drug development. 'For Blood and Money' is also a valuable read for students or professionals in the field of medicine and healthcare, and those keen on understanding the machinations behind drug discovery and patenting processes.

Buy the book
For Blood and Money

Key ideas


Differences over drug development strategies led to Richard Miller's departure from Pharmacyclics.


Amidst financial crisis, Pharmacyclics pivoted towards developing a promising BTK inhibitor drug.

Play in App

An experimental drug, PCI-32765, caused partial remission in CLL patients.

Play in App

Pharmacyclics gained momentum through persistence, targeting BTK inhibitor for CLL.

Play in App

Vital changes in phase 2 trial design accelerated a promising CLL drug's testing.

Play in App

Internal conflicts jeopardized the development of a promising leukemia drug.

Play in App

Raquel Izumi's development of PCI-32765 led to Pharmacyclics- J&J billion-dollar leukemia drug partnership.

Play in App

Bob Duggan utilized Scientologist principles to unlock employees' genius, enhancing Pharmacyclics' breakthrough cancer therapy development.

Play in App

Acerta Pharma aims to improve cancer treatment with a potent BTK inhibitor, ACP-196.

Play in App

Ibrutinib's success in CLL treatment stirred controversy and commercial excitement.

Play in App

Innovative BTK inhibitor drug trial reveals promising leukemia treatment option.

Play in App

Rothbaum's controlling stake and assertiveness stress Acerta's team and hinder Hamdy's leadership.

Play in App
Get the App
Access all 16 key ideas for free!

Summary & Review

Final Summary: "For Blood and Money" by Nathan Vardi presents a compelling narrative on the biotech sector, underpinning the daring pursuit of breakthrough drugs by the industry's brightest minds and ambitious investors. The story centers on the gripping adventure of billionaire investor Wayne Rothbaum and biotech professionals like Ahmed Hamdy in the invention of BTK inhibitors. Overcoming countless obstacles, these individuals showcase resilience, intellect, courage, and conviction in their quest to make a big bet in developing breakthrough drugs. The book serves as a testament to the high-risk stakes, intellectual challenges, relentless commitment, and financial rewards inherent in the biotech industry.

Nathan Vardi

Nathan Vardi is an investigative journalist with deep insights into the world of biotechnology. His fascination with the intricate science and drama behind pharmaceutical ventures led him to write his first book, recounting the powerful real-life story of Broadway-scale profits, unexpected hustles, and resilient spirits. He started this book while working at Forbes and spent years conducting extensive research and interviews to put together this story.


Is Your Domain Name at Risk?

90% of domains are vulnerable to email fraud and spoofing. Cybercriminals can send emails as you, even if you don't. DMARC stops this.

Check DMARC Now
check is instant and free

Find all the book summaries

Quality book summaries

The Code Breaker

"The Code Breaker" is a biography about Jennifer Doudna, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist, and her pioneering work in developing the gene-editing tool CRISPR, exploring the ethical implications and potential of this revolutionary technology.

Der Defizit-Mythos

"Der Defizit-Mythos" ist ein Buch, das die konventionelle Wirtschaftslehre kritisch hinterfragt. Es vertritt die Ansicht, dass staatliche Haushaltsdefizite nicht per se negativ sind, sondern als Instrument genutzt werden können, um bedeutende Herausforderungen wie Ungleichheit, Arbeitslosigkeit und den Klimawandel zu bewältigen.

Positive Intelligence

Positive Intelligence is a book that provides tools and techniques, based on neuroscience, organizational science, and positive psychology, to help individuals increase their Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ), which is the measure of mental fitness. The book aims to help readers achieve greater success and happiness by building new neural pathways in the brain, thereby unlocking their full potential.

Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is a book that challenges organizations to stop competing in saturated markets, instead inspiring them to create uncontested market spaces - 'Blue Oceans.' The book aims to instruct companies on how to break away from the competition, generate growth, redefine industry problems, and create new demand.

The Experience Machine

The Experience Machine is a book that explores the concept of the human brain as a prediction machine, examining how our minds predict and shape our reality. It delves into the impact of these predictions on our experiences, emotions, and actions, and discusses potential ways to manipulate or "hack" our predictive minds.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

"Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" is a novel by Jules Verne that follows the underwater adventures of Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and harpooner Ned Land, who are held captive by the enigmatic Captain Nemo aboard his submarine, the Nautilus. The narrative explores the marvels of the ocean, the limits of human knowledge and the destructive potential of advanced technology.