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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Celgene/Richardson Team

After a whirlwind week traveling to New York and back and then to San Francisco, we are finally back home to decompress.  The Jimmy Fallon show was an awesome experience for us all, especially Jason.  In case you missed the show, here is a YouTube video of the segment:  Jason was awesome!  He was a really good sport and played it up to the max.  There were some irreverent comments on the YouTube video about Mike and me holding hands with our blindfolds on, but they were nothing compared to the flak I received from my own family.  Gotta love em!
Jason and admirers

After the show, Jason was mobbed by a number of women wanting to get their pictures taken with the new celebrity.  He seemed to enjoy the attention, but Jessica...not so much.  After a few minutes of watching his female admirers fawning over him, she finally announced, "OK, we're outta here!"

All in all, it was a once in a lifetime experience for us all.  Jason will now have to endure the long process of growing his hair back again, but I'm sure it will be worth it.  As he emailed us afterwards, "I wanna jump thru a ten foot poster of myself every time I enter a building!"

Thursday morning we drove back to Boston in time to re-pack and head to the airport to board a plane to San Francisco.  We had a delightful weekend with Holly and Ryan.  Friday, Ryan and I played 18 holes at the Presidio Golf Club trying to prove to each other who was the worse golfer (it was a tie), while Gretchen spent the day at Holly's school.  Some delicious meals, sightseeing, Farmer's Market, a ferry ride to Tiburon, and just hanging together out all made for a wonderful time.

On my last visit to the Farber, I picked up a copy of their house organ "Impact", which has a very interesting article about Celgene and Dr. Richardson.  There has been a lot of discussion over the years about the close ties between big Pharma and the medical establishment, and whether these relationships constitute some sort of conflict of interest.  While there may be instances where such ties work to the disadvantage of patients, this case is certainly not one of them.  Dr. Richardson is on the Advisory Board of Celgene, and has been active in clinical trials with Celgene products, most notably, Revlimid.  It is Richardson's ground-breaking trials that have resulted in the RVD (Revlimid/Velcade/dexamethasone) drug combination that is now the gold standard treatment for treating Multiple Myeloma.  Obviously, this partnership has benefited everyone.

Recently, Celgene's newest MM drug, Pomalyst, received FDA approval, for which Richardson had a leading role.  Specifically, he demonstrated Pomalyst's efficacy in both Phase I and Phase II trials, with the Phase II study providing the basis for accelerated approval.

This article reports that Celgene has just donated a $1.1 million gift to support Dr. Richardson and his team in future clinical trials.  "Celgene's extraordinarily generous support helps make essential early-stage studies possible," said Richardson.  "Results from our studies suggest that our approach is likely to have an enormous impact on our ability to better fight multiple myeloma at its various stages, an so further improve patient outcome."  As Celgene put it, "This makes the work done over the years by Dr. Richardson the leading edge, and Dr. Richardson a powerful force who has been an ideal partner for Celgene."

Hmmm.  Maybe I should buy some stock.


  1. Wow, you and Gretchen look really great. Jason not so much, and it won't get any better during the process of letting his hair grow out. He has definitely inherited Gretchen's flair for the dramatic. ;-)

  2. Yes, Jason certainly wasn't shy in his National TV debut. Maybe this is the beginning of a career in showbiz.