EDITOR'S NOTE: Carl Djerassi's novel NO concerns the development of a fictional, though close-to-life, drug and delivery system for the relief of male impotence. While the science in the novel is accurate, the book is a work of fiction. Nevertheless, some real-life characters, including Djerassi himself (a professor in the chemistry department at Stanford University), and other more or less disguised fictional characters based on real people make appearances in the book. In this issue and in the upcoming October 26 issue, we are publishing Chapter 19. In this extract we meet the chief protagonist of the book, an Indian scientist named Renu Krishnan, who has developed a drug called NONO-2 and a delivery system called MUSA. Guided by Martin Gestler, a hard-charging expert on biotechnology start-up companies, she has left academic research to found a company called SURYA. The extract describes the preparation and launch of the...

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