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The Billion Dollar Molecule

A Film by Yael Beals and Mark Rennella

This feature film, the Billion Dollar Molecule, based on a book by Barry Werth, is set in the biotech industry. It follows the amazing journey of a few passionate scientists who create a revolutionary drug company. Along the way they discover a cure for Hepatitis-C and the HIV protease inhibitor to stop AIDS.

Your generous contribution will help get this story of these unheralded heroes to the public for the first time.

This gripping drama tells the intense story of a few key scientists that have to face huge hurdles – personal, professional, and emotional – to reach their ultimate goal: saving millions of lives through drug development.

The work and impact of biotech researchers is often overlooked or misunderstood. The Billion Dollar Molecule will show the audience the personal struggles and triumphs of these pioneers in the world of biotech. The book describes how Kevin Kinsella persuaded Joshua Boger to leave Merck and together they found an extremely risky start-up that went beyond screening for drugs, to actually designing them for the first time! They recruited Rich Aldrich, Roger Tung, Manuel Navia, Mark Murcko, John Thomson, Stuart Schreiber, Vicki Sato and others who devoted their lives to advancing drug discovery. These underdogs faced enormous obstacles competing against rivals with deep pockets.

Many recent popular films about scientific genius depict the great tech and science leaders as anti-social or a-social, from Steve Jobs’ brash and imperious reign over Apple, to Alan Turing’s introverted brilliance in The Imitation Game. The Billion Dollar Molecule show scientists making personal sacrifices, working shoulder to shoulder to tackle the world’s most devastating health problems. This film will show that today’s scientists are society’s true heroes.

Associated Members

We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Lowel Cultural Council
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
Liberty Mutual Foundation
City of Boston Arts and Culture