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A Rare Breed

How people and perseverance built BioMarin into one of the world’s most innovative companies

A Rare Breed
When BioMarin first opened its doors back in 1997, treatment of rare disease was as rare as the conditions themselves. However, a relentless mission to make a big impact on small patient populations through the development of innovative and breakthrough therapies transformed the company into a world leader focused on rare genetic disorders.

A Rare Breed recounts the first 20 years of BioMarin’s history, the struggles it faced in developing drugs for little known conditions, and how it grew into a global enterprise. It follows the researchers, patients, and executives who played a role in advancing novel ideas and how they overcame scientific, regulatory, and financial challenges to bring first-in-class and best-in-class therapies to children who needed them.

Today, the company continues to go where science leads it, working to treat debilitating and deadly diseases without treatments, or significantly improve on the treatments that do exist. The company’s culture revolves around the ethos that no disease should go untreated, and its people are driven to discover, develop, and commercialize medicines that give patients, their families, and their caregivers hope where there was little or none.

A Rare Breed is now available on Amazon with all proceeds going to patient advocacy groups focused on rare disease.

About the Authors

Daniel S. Levine is an award-winning business journalist who has reported on the life sciences, economic development, and business policy issues throughout his career. He is founder and principal of Levine Media Group and host of The Bio Report and RARECast podcasts. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, and a member of the advisory board of the California Biotechnology Council. From 2011 to 2014 he served as the lead editor and writer of Burrill & Company’s annual book on the biotechnology industry. He also served as a managing director and head of the firm’s media group. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Industry Standard, His coverage of the biotechnology industry began in 1990 at The Oakland Tribune. He is also author of Disgruntled: The Darker Side of the World of Work (Berkley/Boulevard). Before entering journalism, Levine spent five years in the investment banking industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Vassar College and a master s in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Daniel P. Maher in 2016 retired from BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. as Senior Vice President, Product Development. He started there in August 2003 as Vice President, Program Management. Dan began his career in 1981 at Genentech, Inc. where he worked for 12 years in several capacities including manufacturing and product development. After Genentech, he served in multiple roles at multiple companies including Spectra Biomedical, Chiron, Aradigm, and Covance. Dan has had overall leadership responsibility for programs over the last 35 years resulting in fourteen approved products, starting with Genentech s human growth hormone, Protropin, in 1985. Dan and his wife Barbara have two grown sons, both Eagle Scouts, as is Dan. Dan serves on several non-profit boards, and enjoys fly fishing around the world. Dan earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from San Francisco State University and an MBA in Health Administration from Golden Gate University.

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