Biotech pioneer Ted Greene was a little teary-eyed when he stepped to the lectern last week to acknowledge his role as the founder of a San Diego biomedical diagnostics startup called Hybritech—and the parade of life sciences companies that followed.
“I would like to thank the wonderful people who joined me on the wonderful adventures we’ve had,” Greene said upon his official induction into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame by Connect, the San Diego nonprofit founded to promote technology and entrepreneurship. Greene was hailed as the founding CEO of Hybritech, a San Diego startup that developed a monoclonal antibody assay system that opened the way to a new generation of immunodiagnostics—including a pioneering diagnostic test for prostate cancer.
Under Greene and David Hale, who succeeded him as CEO, Hybritech grew to more than 800 employees, and in a landmark deal, was acquired by Eli Lilly for more than $400 million in 1986. Greene subsequently co-founded Biovest Partners with Tim Wollaeger, another Hybritech executive. Over the next two years, Biovest provided seed capital and leadership for six medical technology startups that all became public companies: Amylin, Cytel, Pyxis, Neurex, Biosite Diagnostics, and Vical (four have been acquired).
Greene became the founding CEO at Amylin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AMLN), which was started in 1987 to development and commercialize new drug candidates for the treatment of diabetes—a quest that culminated in 2005 with FDA approval of exenatide (Byetta) and pramlintide acetate (Symlin). Amylin recently won FDA clearance for a longer-lasting form of exenatide (Bydureon), which is the first diabetes medicine that can be injected just once a week.
“I think Ted’s legacy will be in … Next Page »
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