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Co-founder, President, CEO, TransTech Pharma
BORN: On the West Bank, Jerusalem, to farmers
BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Key discoveries in Alzheimer's and diabetes
People can manufacture cars, computers, everything, faster and cheaper," says Adnan Mjalli. "Everything around us has become more portable and available, except for medicine. It's embarrassing how Big Pharma has become an old, rusty environment for drug discovery."
The argument would be easier to dismiss if he wasn't such a prolific scientist. But with more than 620 patents under his belt and a slew of INDs, Mjalli underscores his point with the success of the company he founded, TransTech Pharma.
Mjalli says the engine of the success is his proprietary translational technology platform, which was used to discover all of the company's portfolio drugs. The platform's effectiveness has led the company to strike deals with a major pharma for each of the last seven years.
Mjalli received much of his training as a scientist while working at Merck, but marries those skills with a natural bent for business. "I've always had good judgment on which scientific area would lead to a breakthrough," he says. "We're seeing more scientists coming out of the lab to understand the business, like the scientists who head Vertex and Cephalon. They do a much better job than a pure CEO of connecting the business to the work that goes on every day."