The Hybritech Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Xconomy San Diego — 

[Updated: 6:45 pm, 2/23/11] Plenty of ink has been devoted over the years to how San Diego’s biotech family tree can be traced back to Hybritech. The company was born in biotech’s halcyon days in the ’70s, and it quickly became the magnet for young scientific and business talent in San Diego. After Eli Lilly bought the place for more than $400 million in 1986, many of the young turks went on to plant seeds at new ventures all around San Diego and other biotech hubs around the world.

That story has been told well over the years, including this piece from 2003, and another in 2008 from the San Diego Union-Tribune. So instead of focusing on the well-known characters who made it happen—Ivor Royston, Howard Birndorf, Ted Greene and others—I wondered what I might find if I used modern social networking tools to dig deeper and assemble an updated directory of where Hybritech alumni are today, encompassing bigshots and rank-and-file. Getting to know the history also seemed like a good idea as I prepare to host the big event Xconomy is organizing on the 20-year outlook for San Diego life sciences on March 31.

The methods here, I must say, are pretty basic. I sought to include anybody who worked at Hybritech at some point. I looked around in the archives of other publications like the Union-Tribune, and The Scientist. I cited biographies from I made heavy use of employment histories people have posted on LinkedIn. And of course, I’m citing some of my own original reporting from Xconomy. It should be noted that I can’t guarantee that all the information is up to date, especially the user-generated content from LinkedIn. The list has 196 names at last count.

Now’s where I hope you can step in to help. If you see anything that’s out of date, or incorrect, please let me know and I’ll fix it. Over time, I hope this story can become a richer and more valuable resource for Hybritech alumni to connect and re-connect.

With that, here’s the list I’ve put together in alphabetical order, with the most updated titles and affiliations I found online. If you have any questions, comments, or new information, please send me a note at [email protected] or [email protected]

Barbara Adams (McCampbell), retired, formerly director of human resources [Added: 2:05 pm, 6/4/10]

Tom Adams, chief technology officer, Iris International

Clarence Ahlem, vice president, Harbor Biosciences (formerly Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals) [Added: 10:10 am, 3/12/10]

Roger Alsop, lead scientist, Prozyme

Tony Alvarez, biotechnology/medical device supply chain professional

Kim Aposporos, chemistry supervisor, Alvarado Hospital Clinical Laboratory [Added: 7:40 am, 3/15/10]

Glenn Armstrong, Senior Manager Clinical Affairs, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics [Added: 8:05 pm, 3/14/10]

Kelley Asselmann, vice president, Cast Glass Images [Added: 9:25 am, 3/15/10]

Ronald Backes, director of business development, Hitachi Chemical Diagnostics … Next Page »

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17 responses to “The Hybritech Alumni: Where Are They Now?”

  1. I’ve been blown away today by the response to this article. My inbox has been overflowing with Hybritech alumni who want to join the list. This story had 110 names when I first published it on Friday, and as of the last update, it’s up to 168 at last count.

    Thanks to David Kabakoff of Sofinnova Ventures for help in finding people, and to all of you who have written to me directly to help strengthen this project. I hope you find it useful.

  2. Dave says:

    Bruce Birch-President, Biosources, Inc.
    Bruce was the facilities manager at Hybritech

  3. Thanks to everybody who’s written in with new names. You’re wearing me out trying to track down all these people, confirming their connection to Hybritech, and their new titles. If people would just like to add comments here with the alumnus’ name, title, and employer, that would be a load off this reporter’s back.

    Again, thanks very much for all the kind words. The positive response has convinced me to do more stories like this.

  4. Beth North says:

    This is a side question really — in your studies, did you come across a little company in the Boston area called Hygia (or some other spelling variant)?

    They were developing some products when Hybritech sued Abbott over patent infringement.

    I think they were acquired shortly after Ames Division, Miles Labs. Inc. (already owned by Bayer AG) decided to end a potential partnership in marketing some of their products.

    This would have been in the 80’s.

    Thanks for any help.


  5. Beth–I’m not familiar with Hygia or the patent issue you’re referring to—Luke

  6. Jeanne Lenzer says:

    I’m a journalist working on a story about the development of the PSA test. I’d like to talk with Hybritech alums who were about BEFORE the test was approved by the FDA, who know something about the decision-making process, obstacles, etc., regarding approval.

    Contact me please at [email protected] or 845.383.1527 thanks.
    Jeanne Lenzer

  7. Stacey Riordan says:

    I worked in research, in the pilot plant. We were isolating antibodies which were targeted with isotopes in the field of cancer, especially liver and breast. We were working with Dr. Stanley Order at John’s Hopkins at that time. I worked as a technician in the class 100 room as well as primary studies leading up to that point.

  8. Stacey Riordan says:

    Worked in Pilot plant with N. Purro and Susan Christianson early 80’s, and some pretty amazing things happened in that lab,,we had some people saved by our “magic bullet”….I am very pleased with my time there…I loved Hybritech and all the people I worked with…very dedicated. Miss you guys, hope all is well.

  9. victor sabater says:

    Hi, I was apart of Hybritech from 1996 to 1993 and I would like to join the alumi. What I need is to get in contact with the current HR group (but it looks like the company is no longer in business). If anyone has contact info, please contact me at [email protected]. Thanks guys!

  10. Scott Kelsey says:


    I am a alumni!

  11. Chuck Rose says:

    Go ahead and add me to that motley crew…Sales & Marketing Work-Study Student…somewhere around 1990-1991 if memory serves…went on to work at the VA Hospital Medical Research, Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp, DepoTech, BioStruct, Hepatix and Millennium Engineering to name a few!

  12. pmk says:

    Parrish Knapp

    Add me to the crew as well. I am around Southern California somewhere. connect with me in Linkedin:

  13. Phil Paul says:

    You left off Tom Perkin of KPCB, a Board Member and you left off Brook Byers, of KPCB, a Board Member; and you didn’t mention Biovest Partners which I helped Tim Wollaeger and Ted Greene for right after the sale of Hybritech to Eli Lilly………it’s important to the development of the San Diego Healthcare Industry, in that Biosite, Amylin, Cytel, Pyxis and a couple of other very successful Healthcare companies were nurtured by Tim and Ted immediately following Hybritech; in, in my opinion, that’s was really spawned the vibrant Healthcare market around La Jolla/San Diego.
    Phil Paul

  14. Tim says:

    I don’t know if I count or not, haha. I worked as a Temp from a Temp agency harvesting ascites. Went on to Ph.D. and M.D. studies, but now just working in clinical medicine. Loved my time at Hybritech. Great people, and friendly atmosphere. Timothy Tom