Industry Explorers is a series of interviews with senior executives who played a historical role in drug discovery and development and are still active in the biopharma industry.
Geert Cauwenbergh now can look back at his almost four decades in the industry — from his formative years working with Paul Janssen building a small company into a global phenomenon, to his later years as a startup entrepreneur with RXi — and reflect on how most of it has turned upon a snap decision.
By the time Abbey Meyers, founder of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and chief architect of the ODA, wrote her letter to me a few years later, the paradoxical conflict of orphan-drug availability versus price had become obvious.
These are the stories of longtime leaders, still active in the industry, sharing their historical perspectives on innovation in the life sciences industry. This month: Why David Hale is considered an icon of entrepreneurial biotech.
The chairman of Bristol-Myers summoned the head of R&D into his office. “Bill, go down and check out the ruckus on the street,” he said. “Something about our new AIDS drug.” When Dr. William Comer exited the front door of the company’s New York City headquarters, he saw a small group of men marching around on the sidewalk, holding signs, blowing trumpets, beating drums, and chanting loudly.