El-Hibri leaves lasting legacy of success at Emergent BioSolutions, Inc.

Fuad El-Hibri launched Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., 14 years ago, focusing on several prominent disease areas and creating numerous clinical stage product development programs, as well as an anthrax vaccine.

The company turned a profit for an entire year within four years of forming, a lofty goal among biotechs. It took biotech giant MedImmume a decade to reach an annual profit, Gazette.net reports.

After steering Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., for 14 years, however, El-Hibri will retire as the company's CEO on Sunday. He will, however, remain as the company's executive chairman.

"Under his leadership, Emergent BioSolutions became a growth company that has contributed to the business community, attracted top talent to the region and invested heavily into the community overall," Henry Bernstein, a board member of the Tech Council of Maryland and senior vice president of Rockville real estate development and management firm Scheer Partners, said, according to Gazette.net.

El-Hibri credits his five core corporate values - respect, empowerment, commitment, communication and innovation - for the company's success.

"For us, our central mission is to protect life," El-Hibri said, Gazette.net reports. "It's been a great honor to serve the military and protect our active military."

Since its beginnings with the anthrax vaccine BioThrax, the only federally licensed anthrax vaccine, Emergent has grown to fight tuberculosis, cancer and autoimmune disorders, acquiring three biotech companies and broadening its product pipeline since 2003.

Emergent went public in 2006 and now employs more than 800 people in 10 locations, including its Rockville, Maryland headquarters, a research and development facility in Gaithersburg, and a manufacturing plant in Baltimore.

During Emergent's growth, El-Hibri received the Biotech CEO of the Year award during the 2011 World Vaccine Congress, the International Leadership Award from the World Trade Center Institute in 2010, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Greater Washington in 2009, and the Rene Moawad Foundation Distinguished Community Service and Achievement Award in 2007 for philanthropic work in Lebanon, according to Gazette.net.

Daniel J. Abdun-Nabi, who has served as the company's president and COO since 2008, will take over after El-Hibri steps down.