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Conscience and Courage: How Visionary CEO Henri Termeer Built a Biotech Giant and Pioneered the Rare Disease Industry

Subject Area(s):  Biology in SocietyGeneral Interest TitlesAutobiography/Biography

By John Hawkins

Due October 2019 • 222 pages, 32-page photo insert, illustrated (63 B&W), index
Hardcover • $29 26.10
ISBN  978-1-621823-70-4
You save: 10%

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Henri Termeer was one of the first of a pioneering group of business executives who built a disparate group of fledgling companies into a biotech industry that has driven decades of therapeutic innovation. During a 28-year career at Genzyme, including 26 years as CEO, he created a process of drug development that for the first time was patient-centered. He also helped forge biotech's public policy agenda and inspired a generation of entrepreneurs to take on large and important challenges. An extraordinary number of today's biotech leaders were directly mentored by Termeer. His own leadership was iconoclastic: He broke rules and took risks, setting ambitious goals and finding novel ways to reach them. In doing so he transformed an industry and brought hope to patients with a range of diseases previously deemed too rare to justify the investment needed to support the development of specific therapies. In Conscience and Courage, John Hawkins, an insightful analyst of healthcare leaders, reveals the philosophy, principles, methods, and habits of a prominent and successful CEO who defied convention to create an investor-owned global enterprise that put people before profits and improved the lives of thousands of forgotten patients.

Advanced praise:

“Without Henri Termeer, patients with rare diseases would have no hope for new medicines. This authoritative book brings home the highs and the lows of Henri's crusade for rare disease patients and families everywhere. For anyone who really wants to know what ‘patient-centric' means, this one's a must-read.”

—John Maraganore, CEO, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

“Henri Termeer, through his relentless commitment to patients, created a winning global company and unleashed the era of transformative medicines for rare disease. His astonishing business acumen is only surpassed by his humanity-care for individual patients, his colleagues, his family, and his friends. John Hawkins masterfully captures the incredible business story as well as the amazing essence of the man.”

—Deborah Dunsire, MD, President & CEO, H. Lundbeck A/S

“Henri Termeer led a remarkable life. By pioneering the treatment of rare diseases, he transformed the lives of many forgotten patients and families. John Hawkins' account captures this passion and purpose beautifully.”

—Robbie Huffines, Global Chairman, Investment Banking, JP Morgan & Co.

“Henri Termeer was a pioneer of the biotechnology industry, combining an astute business mind with a deep passion and empathy for patients and their families. He shaped, almost out of whole cloth, a company that would shine a light on the path to better medicines to an historically underrepresented group of patients and, in so doing, built Genzyme into a formidable enterprise. John Hawkins tells this story with insight, wit, and warmth, painting an indelible portrait of a remarkable man.”

—Vicki L. Sato, PhD, Chairman, Denali Therapeutics


Foreword,by Joshua Boger
Prologue: Patient One
1 The Leader Within
2 Wings
3 A Great Convergence
4 Mission: Impossible
5 Delivering Hope
6 Duty, Honor, Patients
7 Into the Lion’s Den
8 From Brazil to China
9 HAT Tips
10 The Crisis
11 Changing of the Guard
12 The Diaspora
13 A Citizen in Full
14 The Oracle of Marblehead
Epilogue: Forgotten No More
Photo Section