Christopher Henney, the immunologist who co-founded three of Seattle’s most successful biotech companies from the past 30 years, has made it into the industry’s Hall of Fame.
Henney, 70, was given the Hall of Fame award for outstanding individual contributions to biotech at the annual Biotech CEO Meeting in Laguna Beach, CA. He’s currently the chairman and interim CEO of Seattle-based Oncothyreon (NASDAQ: ONTY), the chairman of Hayward, CA-based Anthera Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ANTH) and the vice chairman of Berkeley Heights, NJ-based Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CYCC).
Henney, one of the speakers at “The Immunex Impact” event Xconomy is organizing on Dec. 1, co-founded Immunex in 1981 before moving on to help start Icos in 1989 and Dendreon in 1995. He stepped down as CEO of Dendreon at the beginning of 2003. Those companies are best-known for developing drugs for autoimmune diseases (Immunex’s Enbrel); erectile dysfunction (Icos and Eli Lilly’s Cialis); and prostate cancer (Dendreon’s Provenge). While Henney played a key role in building all three companies, the FDA approvals of all those products came years after he left.