What It Is: 6/16/08

What I’m reading: Endless Things, by John Crowley, on my Kindle.

What I’m listening to: Hard Candy, by Madonna. It was on sale for $3.99 on Amazon’s MP3 store one day last week. Sue me.

What I’m watching: We finished the third season of The Wire, which was dramatic, but neither as fresh/exciting as the first season nor as complicated as the second (which ended terribly, but was awfully good for the first 8-9 episodes). The fourth season awaits us: No Corner Left Behind!

What I’m drinking: That Blue Point Long Island Blueberry Ale again.

Where I’m going: San Diego — this very night! — for the BIO Conference. (UPDATE: or maybe — this very tomorrow! — as a storm system has already bumped my flight from 7:30pm to 8:53pm.)

What I’m happy about: That R Kelly was acquitted, which finally gave us occasion to break out the first 12 episodes of Trapped in the Closet. It turned out to be one of the greatest achievements in the history of batshit-crazy musical artists.

What I’m sad about: Being away from my wife & dog for a few days.

What I’m pondering: The fact that I’ve lived in this house longer than anyone else has lived in it.

Bottoms up

Sorry I didn’t post earlier in the day, dear readers. I was just building up my courage for the plunge into our annual Top Companies Report, where I profile the top 20 pharma companies and top 10 biopharmas. I just have to tell myself, “Come July 2, it’ll all be done.” It used to be daunting, but the past few years of awful pipeline progress have made it awfully depressing, too.

This morning, I sat down with Pfizer’s 2007 annual report to run the basic numbers on drug revenues, and realized that two of its drugs that went generic dropped a combined $3.3 billion in revenues, while one of its biggest up-and-coming products just got banned by the FAA (in pilots and air traffic controllers) because of a variety of messed up side effects. The company’s biggest seller (the top-selling drug in history) was flat for the year, now that similar drugs have gone generic. I knew they have a tough slog ahead, but the numbers make it even starker. I thought, “I really should’ve started with another company.”

As it turned out, the next 7 or 8 companies on my list weren’t in great shape, either. The European firms got a little boost on my chart because of the exchange rate (I always put in a disclaimer that shows results in local currency, because I’m all about value), but I have a feeling I’m going to be hard pressed to find good stuff to write about in their profiles.

“Come July 2, it’ll all be done.”

On the positive side, I’m just about done with my review/ramble on the Kindle! I spent a while on it yesterday, realized it was getting way too involved, and stripped it down to a pretty good size and shape. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to finish it today, because I just got a (print) book in from Amazon: Dæmonomania, by John Crowley. It’s the third book in his Ægypt series, and I cæn’t wæit to reæd it!