Foundation | Impact | Future | Controversy
The Legacy

When penicillin saved his life, William Haseltine discovered the value of having medicine that can save lives. As Haseltine's career advanced, he strove towards his goal of one day being able to create a treatment that can save lives. He founded his first company, Cambridge Bioscience in 1980. William Haseltine founded Human Genome Sciences in 1992. He would go on to found seven more companies, all united under the common pursuit of research.

By 1992, Haseltine decided that he needed to unite his work into something deeper and founded HGSI in hopes saving countless lives. Haseltine put all that he is into Human Genome Sciences. And he puts all that it can be, all that Human GenomeSciences can do in our hands. His legacy will be the continuation of HGS, HGP, his legacy will be left to us.


This is the end of the rainbow. This, right here, is the world in which William Haseltine lives, and the world in which he dreams will one day be a safer place for us all. Life's too short for many things and he wants to do all he can to make sure that every person lives their life regardless of a terminal and falsely termed "incurable" disease. The rainbow that Haseltine sees is the road to which we must take if we want to find ourselves in a world where there are no incurable diseases. Imagine a world where people can live and love and hope on this perfectly imperfect planet knowing that there is a cure, that there is treatment, and that there is a reason to hope. Imagine feeling safe, truly safe, and imagine the things we could do, the miracles we could perform, the beauty we could create if we all had a few more healthy years to do so. Human Genome Sciences is the first biotech company of its kind and it is the first step to many other roads. Now it is in our hands. William Haseltine dreamed of this world where people could save other people. He never meant to do it all alone and he can't do this all alone. It is in our hands now. Haseltine has laid the foundation and it is now our choice to pick up after his legacy or let that dream slip away. Ever since penicillin saved his life, Haseltine has never forgotten how the help of strangers can save so many.

Don't think about contributing to this dream for him; think about this dream not only for him, but for yourself, for your family, for your friends, for all the people you know and love, for all the people in the world that could be saved by your abilities. It is in our hands now and if we choice not to look up, if we choice not to act, then this dream, this beautiful dream, will be nothing more. Haseltine leaves his company in the hopes that he has reached into the very heart and soul of our worldwide community and left a mark that will not be forgotten or ignored. How can you measure the value of a life? In the things that you didn't do? In the things that could have been? In his dream of a brighter future, our lives will not be measured in simply the years we lived, but the way we lived them. And with his radically new and improved treatments it is possible to not only save a life, but to save years of a life so that a person can not just simply live; but live well and live in the way they always wanted to. Haseltine isn't just creating this treatments and these phenomenal companies for his dream, but for the dream that he hopes we can all share together one day.

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Since he was a child, William Haseltine knew what he wanted to do for a career. When he was young, he was one of the first few infants to be saved from pneumonia with penicillin, and survived a serious heart condition. His mother suffered from manic depression and other ailments. His combats with illnesses inspired him to become a doctor, to rid the world of disease.

He studied at Harvard Medical School and worked at MIT, soon moving on to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, studying retroviruses and HIV. Soon dissatisfied with simple academia, he began to found biotechnology companies; soon came Human Genome Sciences.

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William Haseltine
"His founding vision, leadership and energy have both defined the Company and helped to create the new field of genomic medicine."
-Max Link, Lead Director of HGSI.