He was once hailed as the king of biotechnology. In the industry’s frontier days, David Blech was the top gunslinger, quick to draw his checkbook to start new companies or prop up faltering ones.
Blech was the initial financial force behind the industry giant Celgene, the rare disease specialist Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and the cancer drug developer Ariad Pharmaceuticals, not to mention Icos, which developed the impotence pill Cialis.
In the early 1990s, Blech was worth about $300 million and made the Forbes list of 400 wealthiest Americans.
Now, however, he is about to begin a four-year prison term, is about $11 million in debt and is mainly an afterthought to the industry he helped foster. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.