News & Insights
Arete: The Spirit of Agios
- By David Schenkein
Over the last few months, I”ve been privileged to share my perspective on the values that define Agios.
I talked about how values, like absolute integrity, focused execution and collaborative spirit form the foundation of our company. I also talked about how being dynamic and having passion, respectful irreverence and edge differentiate us from other companies in our industry.
At the apex of this pyramid of important qualities sits Arete – a Greek word whose many meanings reflects all the values we hold dear. It is a concept you may not have been familiar with before you joined Agios, but one I hope you have already come to cherish as much as I do.
Arete has several meanings, and each is applicable to our company.
It is often used to describe virtue, to characterize someone as a “good person.” Our company comprises good people who are striving to achieve a virtuous goal. Because what could be more virtuous than making a positive impact in the lives of people affected by cancer?
It also connotes a sense of driving for excellence. This interpretation speaks to how far we can push ourselves and reflects our focus on achieving “the other side of possible.” If we truly embody this meaning, I am confident the outcome will be novel drugs that help patients.
Arete also describes courage and strength in the face of adversity. Adversity is always part of the equation for organizations like ours that are attempting to do something radical and important. What we are undertaking – developing drugs in a novel space while building a new company with staying power – is exceptionally difficult. We will need to call on our reserves of strength to manage it. We will need Arete.
And here”s my favorite meaning of Arete: it”s “living up to ones potential”. This applies to each of us as individuals and also collectively as an organization. Many people in the business and scientific communities are looking to Agios to validate the entire space of cancer metabolism as the next wave of important oncology medicines: let”s show them!
Arete, in its many forms, describes why I am so proud to be part of this company and why I believe so strongly that we are uniquely positioned to make a significant difference in the lives of patients.