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Safi Bahcall, Synta Pharmaceuticals


Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-06-01-2008
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Issue 0


Safi Bahcall

CEO, Synta Pharmaceuticals

FORMER PROFESSION: Astrophysicist (like both his parents)

GOAL: For Synta to be the next Celgene or Genentech

Until 2003, everything was abstract. Papers, ideas, concepts, and theories. And then I went to Boston to meet the first patient who was getting dosed with our first drug for the first time. The patient was a young guy, with an IV bag going into his arm, who had cancer. It was our drug in that bag, and he was looking at me, hoping that our drug would make him not die. The doctor and nurse just left, so I sat down in the chair next to his bed, and we started talking—about travelling, restaurants, biking. And all the stuff that I've done—the stock options, business plans, whatever—they all just melted way. Everything in the past just faded. And I realized that everything that counted, it was there. It's those moments that reframe everything and let you realize how important it is to do what we are doing."

Safi Bahcall

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