Friday, November 30, 2012

Visit to Pharmacyclics to Say Thanks for their Work on Ibrutinib

I was delighted to have the unique opportunity, as a patient in one of their trials, to speak to the staff at Pharmacyclics, the people who make ibrutinib (PCI-32765), to express my thanks and to put a face and a personal story to the statistical plots.

As all us CLLers know, every point on a Kaplan Meyer curve is (or sadly was) a living, breathing soul, a mom or dad, a husband or wife, a sister or brother, a friend or co-worker with a story to tell.

I came to tell mine and to say thank you from me.

And to say thank you from my whole family.

This picture was from my daughter Heather's wedding last month in Chicago, by the lake. I am at the far left.

For me it was very emotional. I have been lucky enough to speak in front of thousands of healthcare providers and patients on CLL but now I was talking to the people who make the medicine that, in a significant way, was allowing my very act of speaking possible. Usually my slide deck comes with lots of scientific slides and a few jokes. This time it was, by design, full of personal slides, very little science (my audience was full of scientists who work on the molecule daily) and still a few jokes. 

I told my story and said thanks.

What I wasn't expecting from this small but growing biotech company based in Silicon Valley was the genuine warmth of my reception and the commitment of the team, from CEO on down, to improving the care of patients in general and those with CLL in particular. Scores of employees waited to shake my hand and introduce themselves.

I was humbled and astonished.

I am a very lucky guy.

I need to quote Gilda Radner once again.

"If it weren't for the downside, everyone would want cancer."

Remember, we are all in this together.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Brian, what a wonderful experience. I, too, wish to send them my thanks, my mahalo, for what that have done and are doing. Maybe some will read your blog and even this comment .. if so, I send them many thanks and aloha pumehana.


December 1, 2012 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Randy Shirley said...

Keep on fighting the good fight Dr. Koffman!

December 1, 2012 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger TJ said...

Wow what a great story, you're so humble and I'm sure they appreciated your gratitude towards them. Also love the Wedding pic and Patty looks great

December 7, 2012 at 8:14 PM  
Anonymous michael Schoening said...


telling your experience made my day.I have visited the guys at Pharmacyclics before and know that they are dont just there for the money.

They are all committed in a very special way, driven by the vision of the CEO.

All the best for you and keep on fighting

Have a very very happy holidays!

A friend from Europe

December 9, 2012 at 11:37 PM  

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