Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011
The Road to Palm Springs
Dr. Rajesh Shrotriya
In 2002, Dr. Rajesh Shrotriya took the lead as CEO of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. On the verge of bankruptcy, the previous CEO had focused on the development and approval of a single drug that he hoped would be a blockbuster.
When this drug failed to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company was left with no product to sell and had received notice from NASDAQ that it would be delisted.
Shrotriya was asked to lay people off, but he promised that he would hire them back when he could. He worked without a salary until the company was capitalized.
He began to meet with regulators to explain his plan and explored the acquisition of new drug candidates and renegotiated the name of the company to identify with the broad and diverse product line, while maintaining a strong focus on oncology treatments.
He reached out to each debt holder and he used his contacts at larger pharmaceutical companies to license drugs that they had not fully developed. In the last five years Spectrum Pharmaceuticals has built a diverse pipeline of products and eliminated its reliance and focus on only one drug.
The company’s products now generate significant revenues, and every laid-off employee has been rehired.