In the history of the global pharmaceutical industry, there have been many big thinkers, brash visionaries, and billionaire disruptors. But there has only ever been one Godfather.
Stelios Papadopoulos, 74, has spent the past four decades becoming the living embodiment of biotech’s institutional memory. Starting out when biotech was more of a backwater than a banner industry, he was the rare Ph.D. scientist on Wall Street, an investment banker who understood base pairs and basis points in equal detail. Over the years he built a reputation as a creative dealmaker, wise adviser, and enthusiastic raconteur. His was the calm, raspy voice of reason in the ear of every headline name in the business, the Godfather of biotech sought for problems big and small.
“I can’t think of any major CEO in the history of our industry who has not had a strategy discussion with Stelios,” said John Maraganore, the longtime CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals who stepped down last year. “It’s incredible that one individual has had such a profound impact across so many different companies.”
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