Thursday, May 01, 2014

The New California Stem Cell CEO on Change and Accomplishments

In June 2009, Randy Mills, the new CEO of the California stem cell agency, wrote a brief, first-person reflection on his career and motivations for Pharmaceutical Executive. At the time, he was five years into his service as the top executive at Osiris Therapeutics.

Among other things, he said he worked his way “through college in the emergency room. It taught me a lot about life, death, and human suffering.”

He continued,
“When I accepted the position of CEO at Osiris, I was only 32. The company had been around for 12 years, but was really struggling. I needed to change the culture, and fast. Unfortunately, that meant changing many of the people who had been involved with the company for a long time. It was very hard, but five years later the transformation is dramatic, and the lumps are now fond lessons.”

He also said,
“At Osiris, we've built a culture where patients come first, and we've accomplished much over the last year: We formed the largest stem-cell partnership ($1.4 billion) to date with Genzyme Corporation; we created and sold our first commercial stem-cell product line for $85 million in cash; and we won a $227 million Department of Defense contract. But I think my most significant accomplishment is receiving the first-ever FDA expanded-access approval for a stem-cell therapy, providing life-saving treatment to children who would likely otherwise die.”
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