JASON VARNEY | varneyphoto.com

By all accounts, Dani Bolognesi has been tremendously successful. His Duke University laboratory did the early work on identifying anti-HIV activity in what would become AZT (zidovudine), the first drug developed against the disease. In March 2003, the Food and Drug Administration approved Fuzeon, an HIV fusion-inhibitor drug that came out of Bolognesi's Duke lab and formed the basis of Trimeris, which he now heads as CEO. Bolognesi helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for Trimeris and spearheaded an alliance with Hoffman LaRoche for the manufacture, development, and commercialization of Fuzeon. In 2006, Fuzeon's third-quarter sales were $63 million.

Bolognesi's closest friend from college - Jeffrey Lipton, who is also the chairman of Trimeris' board of directors - calls Bolognesi a "charismatic leader." Lipton attributes this quality to Bolognesi's athletic...

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