Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Daniel Skovronsky ’94

You could forgive Daniel Skovronsky ’94 if he helped himself to second servings at Thanksgiving this year. The 37-year-old MD/PhD just signed a deal to sell his biotech company to Eli Lilly & Co. for $300 million, plus the possibility of another $500 million down the road if its lead product performs well.

Skovronsky is an accidental entrepreneur, according to a profile this week in the Philadelphia Inquirer. After earning his bachelor’s in molecular biochemistry at Yale, he was in grad school at the University of Pennsylvania, researching radioactive dyes that could make Alzheimer’s disease show up on brain scans of living patients. (Currently, only an autopsy can provide a conclusive diagnosis.) With research funding hard to come by, Skovronsky started a company, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, in 2004.

He had no business experience. “I didn’t have much of an idea of what I was getting into, which was very helpful,” Skovronsky told the Inquirer. “It would have been much harder if I had any sense of the challenges ahead.”

He thinks his technology could help diagnose Parkinson’s and diabetes as well—for which a lot of people would give thanks.

Filed under biotech, entrepreneurship, healthcare, Technology
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