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BioRegion Newsmakers: May 1, 2009

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Warren Bruggeman, 1925-2009: Benefactor for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Biotech/Interdisciplinary Center

Warren Bruggeman, an honorary member and former member of the board of trustees of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, died April 28 at age 84.

A 1946 alumnus of the school, Bruggeman served as a member of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees from 1989 through 2000, and served in the years since as an honorary member. A onetime chairman of the board’s community relations committee and the Rensselaer Technology Park committee, Bruggeman was "an instrumental figure in the growth of our Tech Park into one of the region’s most successful economic engines," RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson said in a statement.

Bruggeman and his wife, who survives him, were longtime benefactors of Rensselaer who were honored when the school named for them the Pauline Urban Bruggeman and Warren H. Bruggeman ’46 Complex within the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. The couple also created the Warren H. Bruggeman ’46 and Pauline Urban Bruggeman Distinguished Professorship.

"Bruggeman was an innovative thinker and an inspirational leader, and his wisdom and generosity have left an indelible mark on Rensselaer. We shall dearly miss him," Jackson said in the statement.

Bruggeman received the 1995 Distinguished Service Award of the Rensselaer Alumni Association, the 1993 Albert Fox Demers Medal, and the 1987 Alumni Key Award. He was a member of the Stephen Van Rensselaer Society and the Heritage Society of Patroons of Rensselaer, and with his wife was honored as William F. Glaser ’53 Entrepreneurs of the Year in 1994 by the Venture Affiliates of Rensselaer.

In 1985, Bruggeman retired as vice president and general manager responsible for General Electric’s global Nuclear Energy Business Operations. He was with the company for nearly 40 years, and was credited as a key force behind the turnaround of GE’s commercial nuclear power business.

In addition, Bruggeman directed and advised the Center for Economic Growth and Capital Region Technology Development Council. He was a charter board member and key advisory to the fledgling MapInfo, founded by four Rensselaer students, and went on to become a global success and major employer in the Troy, NY, area. Mr. Bruggeman also co-founded the company that became Software Factory International.

Bruggeman was born in Richmond Hill, NY, on Dec. 11, 1925, to Eugene and Wilhelmina Litschke Bruggeman. A former officer in the US Navy, Bruggeman earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Rensselaer. He was also a graduate of the Columbia University Executive Management Program.

A memorial wake was held on May 1 at the Jones Funeral Home in Schenectady, NY. Funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. on May 2, at St. John the Evangelist Church in Schenectady, followed by burial in the St. Nicholas Church cemetery in Watervliet, NY.


HCP Board OKs Thomas Herzog as Executive Vice President/CFO

Thomas Herzog has been approved by the board of directors of publicly traded HCP as its executive vice president and chief financial officer effective May 1, ratifying an appointment the real estate investment trust made earlier this year [BRN, March 9].

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Herzog succeeds Mark Wallace, who held those positions as well as treasurer until he resigned on March 31. HCP has said he will serve the REIT in a consulting capacity until March 31, 2010 at the request of the board of directors.

Herzog joined HCP from Apartment Investment and Management Company, or Aimco, an S&P 500 real estate investment trust headquartered in Denver, where he most recently served as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Before that, Herzog worked at GE Real Estate, where he was chief accounting officer and global controller of a $30 billion real estate operation, and at the national office of Deloitte & Touche.

HCP is a real estate investment trust whose portfolio includes 100 life science properties.


Lee Potts Joins FDA Presentation Consultancy Regulatory Presentation Management as Project Director

Lee Potts has been hired as a project director with Regulatory Presentation Management, a Research Triangle Park, NC, consultancy that assists medical, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies with presentations to FDA advisory committees. RPM is a division of Presentation Strategies that provides digital marketing, training, and technology solutions to biotech and pharmaceutical companies as well as Fortune 500 corporations.

According to RPM, Potts brings more than 16 years of tactical and logistical guidance, as well as multimedia and graphic support, to the firm. Most recently, he worked with Merck scientific and regulatory teams as they prepared for and presented at FDA advisory committee meetings. Potts has worked on 19 FDA advisory committee meeting presentations since 2001.


With Biotech Division Set to Move East After Wyeth Acquisition, Bay Area's Corey Goodman Leaves Pfizer

Corey Goodman, who as president of Pfizer's Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center spearheaded the unit's decision last year to move from South San Francisco to San Francisco's Alexandria Science and Technology Center at Mission Bay, will leave the pharma giant effective May 31.

Goodman told the San Francisco Business Times the decision reflected his reluctance to move East as Pfizer moves to establish a new biotech division whose leadership will be based at Pfizer's New York City headquarters on East 42nd Street. The division will combine Pfizer's BBC with the biotech research arm of Madison, NJ-based Wyeth, which already has its vaccine group and biologics group based on the East Coast.

The move will occur once Pfizer closes on its $63 billion acquisition of Wyeth.

“I’m in California. Maybe at a different time in my life it would be fun. But I have a great marriage, I have a fun ranch and I’m 57. This is my community," Goodman told the newspaper. “You need to live with that executive team. You need to be with that team.”

It was not known whether the departure will affect Pfizer's plans, announced last year, to move into Mission Bay, a development of Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Pfizer signed a 15-year lease for about 100,000 square feet, with an option for an additional 50,000 square feet, at the 210,000-square-foot 455 Mission Bay Blvd. South, across Third Street from the University of California, San Francisco, where Goodman is a professor. BBC was set to move in during the second quarter of 2010 [BRN, Aug. 11, 2008]

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Goodman was named in October 2007 to run BBC, an umbrella that includes Rinat Neuroscience, which Pfizer bought in 2006, as well as more recent acquisitions CovX Research of La Jolla, Calif., and Coley Pharmaceutical Group of Wellesley, Mass. In April, Pfizer said it would create a biotech division incorporating Goodman’s BBC and the biotech research arm of Wyeth, which Pfizer is buying for $63 billion. The new division will be headed by Mikael Dolsten, who is now president of Wyeth research.

Pfizer’s hired Goodman in an effort to rebuild its drug pipeline, set to shrivel as several drugs come off patent in coming years, including the company’s top-seller, the anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor, whose patent expires in 2011.

According to the Business Times, Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler issued an internal memo calling Goodman “a truly outstanding scientist and Pfizer leader," and adding that BBC will continue as a federation of research units that "will have an even greater opportunity to advance scientific programs within the organization that Corey helped design.”

Goodman received a base salary of $725,000, plus a performance bonus of up to $798,000 annually, Pfizer disclosed in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing that also said the company waived repayment of $1.7 million in “replacement cash compensation” that had been due if Goodman left Pfizer in less than two years.


iBIO Trustee to Deliver Commencement Address at Southern Illinois U Carbondale Ceremony

Gregory Webb, a trustee with the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization, or iBIO, and vice president of state government relations with Archer Daniels Midland, will receive an Alumni Achievement Award and deliver the address at the May 9 commencement of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Webb earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from SIUC in 1979, and has been with Decatur, Ill.-based ADM since 1986. Initially working in the oilseed processing business throughout North America, Webb became the company’s North American trade representative for grain and oilseeds in 2002.

In his current position, Webb is responsible for working with business and producer organizations. In addition to iBIO, he serves on the boards of the American Council of Agriculture, the North American Export Grain Association, and is chairman of the National Oilseed Processors Association board.


Lazard Fréres' Global Co-Head of Healthcare Investment Banking Honored by NYBA

Stephen Sands, a Lazard Fréres managing director who is global co-head of healthcare investment banking for the firm, will be honored as The Cures Start Here Business Leader of the Year by the New York Biotechnology Association at its May 19 gala dinner, to be held at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in New York City.

Sands has advised clients involved in some of the largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology transactions, including Pfizer during its acquisitions of Pharmacia and Warner Lambert; UCB during its acquisitions of Schwarz Pharma and Celltech; Hoechst during the formation of Aventis; and GlaxoSmithKline predecessor Glaxo on the acquisition of Wellcome. He has also provided financial advice biotech and pharma companies that have included Abraxis, Alpharma, Biogen, Imclone, OSI, MGI, Rosetta, and ViroPharma.

Sands has also assisted several companies in raising public capital, Amicus, Dendreon, Enzo Biochem, Poniard, Targanta, Synta, Viropharma and Xenoport. He is also a member of the Brookings/Gates Global Heath Innovative Financing Advisory Group.


BioFlorida Taps 12 New Members for Board of Directors

BioFlorida, the Sunshine State's life-sci industry association with more than 200 member companies, has named 12 new members of its board of directors at its annual member meeting, held March 30 at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport in Orlando.

Named to the board were: Maggie Dias, Thermo Fisher Scientific; Santiago Galvez, Beckman Coulter; Elizabeth Goodman, Genentech; Claudia Hillinger, Max Planck Florida Institute; Thad Seymour, Lake Nona; Randy Scott, NovaMin;

Also, John Spencer, an independent director whose affiliation was not furnished; Thomas Stevens, Ernst & Young; Jim Talton, Nanotherapeutics; Daniel Wahby, Eli Lilly; Stephanie Warrington, Xhale; and Claudia Zylberberg, AppliChem.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.