Biotech Pioneer Alex Zaffaroni Passes Away

Mar 05, 2014


Alejandro Zaffaroni, an innovator in drug delivery systems and biotechnology, and well-known humanitarian, died peacefully at home on March 1. He was 91. Zaffaroni was widely regarded as a visionary and left a profound impact on the lives of millions through the invention of new medical technologies. He played a key role in bringing Syntex to the United States from Mexico and transforming the firm into a global pharmaceutical corporation that pioneered the development of therapeutic corticosteroids and the birth control pill.
In 1968, he found ALZA Corporation. ALZA would be the first of Zaffaroni’s nine companies built around novel technologies and 130 patented processes for drug delivery, high-speed genome scanning, drug discovery, and innovative materials development for a wide variety of industries. Numerous awards and honors are a testament to Zaffaroni’s storied career and many accomplishments. Zaffaroni’s commitment to the life sciences is continued by the Zaffaroni Family Foundation, which provides grants for medical research, higher education, and individual scholarships. Read the fall 2012 issue of LSF Magazine for an in-depth article about Alex Zaffaroni and his significant contributions to the early biotech industry.

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