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SAN DIEGO — More than 40 years ago, Ivor Royston, a brash young assistant professor at University of California, San Diego, made an odd pitch to scientists and pharmaceutical executives across the country: Ditch your jobs and join a fledgling firm working on a new, unproven way to use antibodies to diagnose and even treat deadly diseases.

Turns out it wasn’t an easy sell.


“Some people didn’t know that anything was going on in San Diego. People didn’t even know the geography,” Royston said. “I actually received a call from somebody who was coming into LA to say, ‘Could you pick me up?’”

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