Fuad El-Hibri, who led the vaccine crisis, died at 64

Fuad El-Hibri, whose biotech company won millions of dollars in government contracts to develop the anthrax vaccine but failed in 2021 when, was hired to develop the vaccine. Covid, it should be discarded the equivalent of 75 million vaccines, die for. April 23 at his home in Potomac, Md. He was 64 years old.

His death was announced in a statement by his family. A family representative said the cause was pancreatic cancer.

Mr. El-Hibri’s Maryland-based company, Emergent BioSolutions, is one of the most indiscriminate players in the world of government commitment, but one thing is for sure: It has spent a lot of support and encouragement brought to support a close impact on the development of anthrax vaccine. early 2000s. The contract accounts for nearly half of the funds for the National Plan, a medical facility maintained in the event of an emergency such as a bioweapons outage or outbreak.

Although the relationship was sometimes investigated – including several investigations by the New York Times in March 2021 – it also left Mr. El-Hibri company has a clear choice to develop the Covid vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. Emergent received a $ 628 million contract from the government in 2020.

But in fact, Emergent was not ready for this job. Although it was already part of the government’s work to develop a rapid response response in the event of an emergency, it has not yet demonstrated such a capability when it launched its offensive against Covid vaccine early 2021.

In March of that year, the company reported that due to staff errors, the equivalent of some 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine had become infected and had to be discarded. Nationwide production was temporarily shut down, causing a headache for the Biden administration, which was expected to have a competitive advantage to reduce side effects of the vaccine.

Congress announced the findings, and in May Mr. El-Hibri, Emergent’s president, and Robert G. Kramer, the company’s director, testified before the Family Selection Committee on Coronavirus.

When two men defended the company and talked about the unprecedented challenge from their job, Mr. El-Hibri has acknowledged his failure.

“The situation across the transmission line is unacceptable,” he said, “time.”

An additional 60 million doses were reported in June.

Fuad El-Hibri was born on March 2, 1958, in Hildesheim, Germany, the son of Elizabeth (Trunk) El-Hibri, owner, and Ibrahim El-Hibri, expert and entrepreneur. . He grew up in Lebanon and Germany and graduated from Stanford University in 1980 with a degree in business. He received his bachelor’s degree in public and private administration from Yale School of Management in 1982.

Mr. El-Hibri began his career with Citicorp in Saudi Arabia and later worked for the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm in Indonesia. After returning to the United States, he started a business that helped local telephone companies refine their networks in Russia, Venezuela and El Salvador.

In 1990, he told the Saudi Arabian government about his efforts to buy millions of anthrax vaccines. That knowledge formed the basis for what became Emergent BioSolutions.

He co-founded the company, historically known as BioPort, in 1998. He and his partners, including William J. Crowe, former president, recently won the partnership. to buy an illegal laboratory in Lansing, Mich., and improve it to build. anthrax vaccine for US military

The company changed its name to Emergent BioSolutions in 2004. It went public in 2006.

Although he usually focuses on one product and one consumer (he also developed Narcan, used to treat opioid overdoses), Emergent grew rich in Mr. El-Hibri executives, reporting $ 1.5 billion in revenue by 2020.

According to Time’s findings, the company’s financial success is part of its concerted efforts to win a large part of its fundraising efforts. Many experts consider it to be very serious, given the low risk of anthrax resistance and the option of using cheap antibiotics for many infections.

“Purchases should be subject to precautionary measures by government officials on how to save lives,” but many were also affected by Emergent bottom lines.

Mr. El-Hibri and his wife were the proponents of a major campaign; they were given nearly $ 1 million between 2018 and 2021, mostly for Republican candidates. The Emergent administration has given an additional $ 1.4 million at the same time.

These connections proved significant in the fall of 2020, when Emergent was one of two companies committed to developing the Covid vaccine. Shortly afterwards, Mr. El-Hibri has paid off $ 42 million in stock and options in stock.

After the business debacle of Emergent went public, the company faced opposition from investors, including allegations that it violated the law by fraud it had intends to develop vaccines to boost the value of its commercial products.

Mr. El-Hibri stepped down as director of Emergent BioSolutions on April 1.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy (Grunenwald) El-Hibri; his mother; his brother, Samir; his sister, Yasmin El-Hibri Gibellini; his daughters, Faiza and Yusra El-Hibri; his son, Karim; and three grandchildren.

Leave a Comment