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Plenty of drug company executives have drawn fire for their high salaries or the cost of their medicines.

Praveen Tipirneni, CEO of Waltham, Mass.-based Morphic Therapeutic, is taking flak for a cartoon he drew about the biotech industry that bears a striking resemblance to one published in The New Yorker magazine in 1986.


Globe story last Thursday focused on Tipirneni’s recent hobby of drawing whimsical cartoons that poke fun of the often abstruse world of biotechnology. One cartoon, published alongside the story, depicted an executive standing next to a scientist in front of a whiteboard. The executive, with arms crossed, scrutinized chemical formulas scrawled on the board.

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  • Ok, the guy is clearly not trying to profit or otherwise lay claim to fame with his cartooning.

    Time to focus on the treatments/cures for diseases and not the (easily disputed) provenance of a singular cartoon. In other, harsher words, those needing to make a big deal of this need to get a life.

  • I think this is a tempest in a teapot. The two scientists standing in front of a blackboard theme is pretty common. I think back to the even more famous “then a miracle occurs” cartoon.

    I think Praveen Tipirneni is being very generous with his response in possibly ascribing credit to the referenced cartoon. It’s not that different than a musician being accused of ‘stealing’ a 12-bar blues theme for their song. The difference is not in the 12-bar blues motif but the words and the hooks. Let’s agree that there are many standard templates in art and technology.

    Now Praveen does deserve some criticism for the bizarre variety of molecular-like structures on the board.

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