11:09 AM
 | 
Jul 10, 2019
 |  BC Extra  |  Clinical News

Michael Becker, patient advocate and biotech exec, dies at 50

Michael Becker, a former biotech entrepreneur and author who became a fierce patient advocate in his final years, passed away from metastatic HPV-related cancer. He was 50.

Becker was president, CEO, CFO and director for several publicly traded biotechnology companies, including cancer companies Cytogen Corp. (acquired by EUSA Pharma Inc.) and VioQuest Pharmaceuticals Inc. and neurology company Relmada Therapeutics Inc. He was also president and founder of advisory firm MDB Communications LLC.

In December 2015, Becker was diagnosed with Stage IV HPV-mediated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. He chronicled his experience with the disease in a book, A Walk with Purpose, and on his blog.

In a 2017 Guest Commentary contributed to BioCentury, Becker wrote that industry must promote HPV-related cancer vaccination (see “What If You Build, But They Don’t Come”).

"Once I went through chemotherapy and radiation therapy and suffered the associated debilitating side effects, I realized how many people were missing out on the HPV vaccine that could prevent these cancers and my 'walk with purpose' became clear: Raise awareness for HPV’s link to cancer and available vaccines," he wrote (see also: "Michael Becker: An Open and Relentless Advocate for Patients").

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