Andy Grove led Intel to spectacular success by developing a newer, faster and better product every year. If only medicines could be developed with the same kind of urgency and efficiency that spawned the computer revolution. That is Grove’s dream. A Silicon Valley pioneer-turned-medical activist, Grove, 75, is afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. His worsening tremors fuel an impatience, offering daily reminders of the need to speed innovation into fatal neurodegenerative conditions.
“Maybe I’m a Don Quixote,” Grove said in a rare interview about his crusade to spur more progress in an industry that every year spends more than $50 billion on research and development yet produces merely 20 new drugs. “I’m just trying to figure out something and move the ball. “Manage science like a business project,” he groused from his office in Los Altos, restless with the arrhythmic dance of dyskinesia. “We do this all the time in industry.”