Dr. Nowinski founded seven biotechnology companies. He subsequently brought four of these companies public through an IPO financing. He was the first employee in each company and also held the executive position(s) of CEO and/or the Chairman of the Board. In each business he set the direction, acquired the initial technology, recruited key management, and provided oversight for the research programs.
He also conducted private and public financings of $110-130 million for each company. Three of the public companies have been acquired by major pharmaceutical companies: Genetic Systems in 1987 for $310 million by Bristol-Myers; PathoGenesis in 2000 for $660 million by Chiron/Novartis; and Icos in 2006 for $2.2 billion by Eli Lilly. Collectively, these companies have developed and marketed eight diagnostic tests and two therapeutic drugs (Cialis for Erectile Dysfunction and TOBI the leading drug for Cystic Fibrosis) with annual sales exceeding $3.0 billion.
Dr. Nowinski received his Ph.D. in immunology from the Sloan-Kettering Institute in 1971. He was an Assistant Professor of Oncology at the University of Wisconsin and then an Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Washington (UW). He also was a founding scientist and Head of the Virology Program of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle (FHCRC) and a Professor of Microbiology at the UW and a Member of the FHCRC. His academic research, including over 100 peer-reviewed publications, concerned cancer-causing retroviruses, leading to the naming and definition of the oncornavirus family. His studies then turned to antibody treatments for cancer and the development of antibodies for the diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases.