Dr. Mitchell Fink has been successful in no less than four careers: surgery, critical care medicine, science and now business. Three years have passed since Dr. Fink, the founding Chairman of our CCM Department, left on an entrepreneurial leave to establish a new pharmaceutical company which he named Logistical Therapeutics. This was based on his very successful scientific studies and numerous patents. Recently, Dr. Fink became President and CEO of another pharmaceutical business, Lycera, Inc. He remains on the University of Pittsburgh's Faculty as an Adjunct Professor in the Deprtments of Critical Care Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacology.
Dr Fink's business experiences started in 1990 with Argus Critical Care based on his technology for measurement of gut intramural pH. In 1999, he formed Critical Therapeutics for further study and potential use of ethylpyruvate in various critical conditions. Dr. Fink became involved with a business career in 2005 with the establishment of a Logical Therapeutics that mainly provides leptin for different medical conditions involving obesity. His commercial activities started in 2008 with his election to the presidency of Lycera, which was secured recently in April 2009 after raising $36 M in funding.
Dr. Fink gave an excellent overview of his professional experiences during his CCM Grand Rounds presentation "Tales from the Dark Side: The Life and Times of a Biotech CEO" given on May 11, 2009. He ended his presentation with the following four conclusions: Academic physicians can be successful in business; R & D means development of biotechnology products, clear for registration before being launched; The economics is significant for medical indications; and All decisions are based on business. This was a different kind of grand rounds, indicating the need for today's academic leaders to understand business.
The day after his grand rounds presentation, Dr. Fink conducted a minisymposium on research. Junior CCM faculty members and visiting researchers presented current data on their ongoing investigations with discussion and advice by Dr. Fink and our senior faculty members. Dr. Fink's two day visit to the CCM Department was much appreciated by CCM faculty and fellows.