Hubert J. P. Schoemaker, founder and former president of Centocor, died on Jan. 1. Mr. Schoemaker helped start Centocor, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. He also mentored other biotechnology entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia area.
"He was able to energize people and translate sometimes very complex science into a very understandable business equation," said David P. Holveck, who succeeded Mr. Schoemaker as chief executive of Centocor and is now an executive at J&J.
Mr. Schoemaker graduated from the University of Notre Dame, majoring in chemistry. He then earned a doctorate in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked for Corning Medical, a division of the glassware company that developed diagnostic tests. He left that company in 1979 to start Centocor with Michael A. Wall, an entrepreneur, and Hilary Koprowski, then the director of the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology in Philadelphia. Another scientist, Vincent R. Zurawski Jr., is also often regarded as a co-founder of Centocor. J&J acquired Centocor in 1999 for $4.9 billion. Mr. Schoemaker left and founded Neuronyx, a company that is trying to use stem cells to treat neurological and cardiovascular diseases.
Last January, Pennsylvania Bio, the trade group representing the state's biotechnology industry, awarded Mr. Schoemaker its first lifetime achievement award.