Mass Biotech Council Poaches Patrick Administration Insider to Fill Top Post

The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC) announced today that it has filled its top post. Robert Coughlin, currently Governor Deval Patrick’s undersecretary for business development, will take over the reins as MBC president by October.

Coughlin fills a slot left open since January, when MBC’s then-president, Thomas M. Finneran, resigned shortly after pleading guilty to felony obstruction-of-justice charges. Coughlin, a former state representative, was up against another state-government insider, Senator Jack Hart. But Hart announced on Friday that he was pulling out of the race.

“In my role as undersecretary for business development, I have worked closely with the biotechnology and life sciences industry,” says Coughlin in the MBC statement. Last month he recused himself from working on Governor Patrick’s $1 billion life-sciences initiative to avoid conflicts of interest as he vied for the MBC post.

The search committee was led by Mark Leuchtenberger, CEO of Targanta Therapeutics and vice chairman of the MBC board of directors.

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