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How Henri Termeer built a biotech giant

image of Conscience and Courage book by John Hawkins
John Hawkins’ new book, Conscience and Courage, highlights the career of Henri Termeer, who guided biotech firm Genzyme and pioneered many areas of the rare disease industry.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press announced the publication of Conscience and Courage, a biography of former Genzyme CEO and rare disease pioneer Henri Termeer.

With a unique perspective, author and biotech industry expert John Hawkins documents Termeer’s legacy and the creation of global biotech giant Genzyme.

Rare diseases are often life-threatening conditions affecting fewer than 200,000 people. In the 1980s, drug companies were averse to the risky development of therapies for such small groups of patients that might require hundreds of millions of dollars of investment.

Henri Termeer succeeded in guiding Genzyme to create a wealth of treatments for such conditions with a transformative approach that harnessed innovative biotechnology while sustaining its costs. He was instrumental in the founding of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, which successfully advocated for the first legislation to give patients access to breakthrough and experimental therapies.

“His vision, courage, and exemplary leadership serve as a model for today’s and tomorrow’s biotech leaders,” Hawkins said. “He was a generous humanitarian of high character who possessed a passion for patients and an unyielding optimism in facing the challenges he met in improving their lives.”

Termeer went on to mentor a new generation of business leaders who continue to challenge conventional innovation models and bring new novel treatments to patients around the world.

“Biotech’s scientific luminaries are widely known, its business pioneers less so,” said Dr. John Inglis, Publisher and Executive Director, CSHL Press. “We are delighted to help John Hawkins put an overdue spotlight on Henri Termeer, an innovative executive who always put patients and their need for hope at the center of his healthcare strategy.”

Conscience and Courage is available in print and eBook formats online and at bookstores. Visit for more information.

View the full press release.

Written by: Public Affairs | | 516-367-8455

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