Michael L Riordan, the founder & CEO of Gilead, Gabriel Schmergel, the CEO of Genetics Institute, and James L Vincent, the CEO of Biogen, are interviewed by G Steven Burrill regarding the state of the Biotech industry. 1991.
Riordan (Gilead Sciences) Schmergel (Genetics Institute) Vincent (Biogen) Biotech Roundtable 1991 by G Steven Burrill
James L. Vincent
Chairman and Chief
James L. Vincent, earlier President of Allied
Health and Scientific Products and COO of Abbott
Laboratories, joined Biogen as Chairman and CEO
in 1985. At the time, the Cambridge company, foun
ded in 1978, was floundering. Mr. Vincent engi
neered a remarkable turnaround, and in 1989 Ied the
company to its first year of profitability. Biogen's
products-and-relationships portfolio include hepa
titis B antigens (Abbott Laboratories, Ortho Diag
nostic Systems), hepatitis B vaccine (Merck), alpha
interferon (Schering-Plough), gamma interferon
(Rentschler, Shionogi). Products in research or
development include CD4 for AIDS therapy (with
funding from New York Life Insurance Company);
thrombin inhibitors and a platelet receptor antago
nist for the treatment of cardiovascular disease; and
vascular cell-adhesion molecule inhibitors as treat
mentfor inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Michael Riordan, M.D.
President and Chief
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Michael Riordan brought a broad background to
the creation of Gilead Sciences. He holds an M.D.
degree from Johns Hopkins, a Harvard M.B.A., a
B.S. in chemical engineering, and a B.A. in biol
ogy. He founded the Foster City, CA, company in
1987, while working as a venture capitalist at
Menlo Ventures. Earlier, he was an international
lending officer at the Industrial Bank of Japan in
Tokyo, a consultant with McKinsey & Co. and
Arthur D. Little, and a Luce Fellow in East Asia.
Gilead Sciences is developing a new class of phar
maceuticals which employ antisense technology
and other methods to inhibit disease processes at
the DNA and RNA level. Its primary disease tar
gets are severe viral infections and oncogene
derived cancers for which no adequate therapies
exist. The company's investors include Menlo Ven
tures; J. H. Whitney & Co.; Venrock Associates;
Merrill, Pickard, Anderson & Eyre; Concord
Partners; William Blair Venture Partners; John
Hancock Venture Capital; the Vista Group; and
Abingworth Management Limited. Two months
after this roundtable, Gilead signed $20 million
strategic alliance with Glaxo.