As a real full-fledged grownup (though I really still feel like a kid most of the time) I have worked for only two companies: Gannett and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.
I worked in newspapers (Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. and The Arizona Republic in Phoenix) for seven years as an editor.
A little more than seven years ago Curt and I moved to the Bay Area. I signed up with a temp agency and ended up at Onyx helping with filing in the Legal Department. I became a full-time employee in October 2005. I am still in the Legal Department working with the same boss seven years later.
In December 2005, Nexavar was approved in kidney cancer. Onyx and Bayer collaborate on this compound. I still remember our small Onyx team standing in the kitchen of the 12th floor building in Emeryville toasting to our success. A few years later Nexavar was approved in a second cancer, liver.
On Friday, July 20, KYPROLIS received accelerated approval by the FDA in multiple myeloma, which is a blood cancer. Today we had all kinds of celebrations at work.
It’s hard to describe the feelings going through me today: pride, giddiness, happy, celebratory, exhaustion, amazement, gratitude …
And we have all been affected by cancer. Someone we love has had it and beaten it or, unfortunately, some of the people we love have lost the battle.
I have always been proud of the work I do, my team does and Onyx does. But today was one of the most amazing days of my career at Onyx. It doesn’t come along too often that a company gets a drug approved by the FDA.
Today I was reminded why I come to work every day. Why I get up at 5:30 a.m. and endure a long commute. Why I work some crazy hours. Why I skip many lunch breaks. Why I try to manage and juggle many projects at once. Days like today make it all worthwhile.
I am proud to say Onyx continues to help patients with cancer. And patients are our No. 1 priority.