There’s not many men in the world that can command such presence and, in the nicest of terms, dark mystery as Emilio Bell. Inheriting the family business that was built from the ground up from his father, Giovanni Bell, there was a lot of strain and responsibility thrown upon a young man.
Now almost fifteen years later, the Bell business, Dolos Pharmaceuticals, supplies many of the drugs you see in most hospitals and has become one of the largest companies in the world.
Right now, I’m sat waiting in a post-modernistic administrative building in the Netherlands which I wasn’t allowed to divulge the exact location of. I was plied with the fear of getting sued, beaten up and left destitute. The means of getting this interview with Mr. Bell had an incredible amount of hurdles.
And rightly so. Dolos Pharmaceuticals are actively engaged in the National Genomics Programme in the Netherlands (or what most would know as the Human Genome Project) as well as the three (now sadly defunct) large public-private programs on Pharmacotherapy, Translational Molecular Medicine and Regenerative Medicine. These projects alone amounted to over €1 billion with Dolos providing help and research facilities along the way.
The cleanliness of the waiting room is a little unnerving as a receptionist presses a few buttons on her keyboard whilst talking in Dutch on her headset. It feels like an eternity; I watch this young woman deal with so many calls in this white room with dark carpets that it becomes slightly bewildering.
A few stark statues litter the room with one of the pieces of “art” near me simply being three rectangle blocks. On the plaque, I notice that it says: “For the building blocks of the future”. Maybe for someone with loftier expectations and grand plans, this would have meant something. It just looks like someone had gotten three cardboard boxes of varying lengths and stuck them to a wooden base.
Finally, the lady takes a brief moment off her phone and ushers me in. She gives me a brief fake smile and then routinely goes back to the drone of her administrative duties. Just as I am about to open the big wooden doors, I fix my skirt and apply some lipstick like it means something to this man.