Dr. David Hung of Medivation Wins EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Award for 2014
Dr. David Hung, MD, founder, President and CEO of Medivation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the rapid development of therapies to treat cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, has been named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 National Overall Award winner. The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, a leading business award for entrepreneurs, encourages entrepreneurial activity and recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment as they create and build world-class businesses.
Hung was chosen for his inspiring work creating Medivation, which identifies, in-licenses and develops visionary technology for life-threatening diseases, as well as the urgency with which he’s tackling these illnesses. Medivation acquires early-development stage pharmaceuticals and medical devices that have promising clinical, intellectual property and commercial prospects, and then identifies and executes the strategic pathway that will allow the most rapid, efficient and effective development of these products. Hung was honored at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards gala, the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum® in Palm Springs, Calif. The Forum is the nation’s premier gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. Awards were given in 10 additional categories.
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from more than 250 regional award recipients.
“Entrepreneurship is all about thinking outside of the box to develop solutions to everyday problems,” said Mike Kacsmar, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Americas Program Director. “Dr. David Hung recognizes that when a patient is critically ill, time is all that matters. Medivation challenges clinical development time limitations, and as a result, the company has been able help prolong and save lives by making an unprecedented shift to the industry benchmark of how long it takes to bring life-saving products to market.”
A change to do more leads to success
A graduate of Harvard University and the University of California, San Francisco Medical School, Hung is a hematologist, oncologist and scientist. His early work with patients had a profound effect on him, and this experience made him understand that while he was passionate about treating patients as a doctor, he was limited in the number that he could reach. He felt compelled to help more. Hung realized he could affect millions of people by developing new, revolutionary technology, and with that goal in mind, he made the tough decision to leave academic medicine for industry.
His gamble was a success. He founded Medivation in 2003 with a $1 million bridge loan and took the company public through a reverse merger in 2004. Today the company is one of the biotech industry’s greatest success stories. Additionally, Hung has richly rewarded those that invested in Medivation at its origin – from its original capital raise in 2003, the share price has seen a 100 fold return for those investors.
A matter of time
The true motivation behind Medivation’s success is the urgency and care it puts into developing treatments and technologies for those who need it most. While Hung’s employees each have separate skills and practices, they all work with a sense of commitment and urgency. Hung knows, when you’re dealing with terminally ill patients, time is critical.
It is with this understanding that Hung has positioned Medivation to challenge the biotech industry to successfully identify drugs that fight and even cure the most difficult diseases such as breast and prostate cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s. Hung is passionate about the difficult diseases, and he has not only created novel treatments, but done so more quickly than traditionally perceived possible.
An example of this commitment is also one of Medivation’s greatest successes: its breakthrough drug, Xtandi. In the pharmaceutical industry, it generally takes 17 years and $800 million from laboratory bench to FDA approval for a drug. Hung motivated his team and successfully managed the approval of Xtandi – from idea to use – in only seven years. This record-breaking feat was made possible with total capital of only $175 million raised over 10 years. The product was then made available to patients in only two weeks, again setting an unprecedented industry benchmark.
Putting people first
Medivation is the largest biotech employer in downtown San Francisco. From day one during orientation, all 400 employees are instilled with the importance of innovative thinking. This collective mindset allows the company to employ new approaches to old diseases, and this way of doing things has often led to revolutionary results.
Hung understands the importance of leading by example and works side-by-side with his teams. He sends a monthly note to his employees, emphasizing a refusal to accept no for an answer. He often challenges them to think about if their life depended on it – would the answer still be no?
Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.
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