Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Second story from Ted Slavin


In the 1970s, Ted Slavin who was born a hemophiliac was exposed to the hepatitis B virus from donor blood many times over. However, he never knew it until much later that he has extremely high concentrations of hepatitis B antibodies.

Here is where Slavin's story departs from Moore's story. Slavin's doctor "told him that his body is producing something extremely valuable (Skloot, 2010, p .202)." This is because pharmaceutical companies were willing to pay high amount of money for a supply of antibodies to produce a vaccine for Hepatitis B.

Slavin contacted laboratories and pharmaceutical companies and several of them are interested in buying his antibodies. His intention is for someone to cure Hepatitis B.

He wrote a letter to Nobel-prize winning virologist, Baruch Blumberg, and offered him unlimited free use of his blood for research. This is a critical event. Slavin and Blumberg had a years-long partnership. Eventually, Blumberg found the link between Hepatitis B and liver cancer. He succeeded at creating the first hepatitis B.

Later, Slavin recruited other people and started a company, Essential Biologicals.

There are many critical events in Slavin's story that make the turns of the events very different from Moore's story. Part of it is because his doctor is truthful and honest with him.

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