PERSONAL: Male. Education: Graduated from Middlebury College, 1984.
ADDRESSES: Home—Brooklyn, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Freelance journalist and investigative reporter. Talk magazine, staff writer. Has appeared as a guest on Central News Network (CNN).
Rosie O'Donnell: A Biography, Time (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Michael Chernasky) Forewarned: Why the Government Is Failing to Protect Us, and What We Must Do to Protect Ourselves, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Cell Game: Sam Waksal's Fast Money and False Promises—And the Fate of ImClone's Cancer Drug, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to periodicals, including Vanity Fair, New Yorker, and Time.
SIDELIGHTS: In 2001 veteran business journalist Alex Prud'homme began to take an interest in the interplay between Wall Street and the biotechnology revolution. Eventually Prud'homme researched Sam Waksal, head of ImClone Systems, and his efforts to earn fame and fortune with Erbitux, a very promising new cancer drug. Waksal's drive and enthusiasm was winning over investors (most notoriously, domestic lifestyle guru, Martha Stewart), but as Prud'homme began to dig into the story, he discovered that Waksal had a history of involvement in elaborate deceptions and exaggerations that had caused him to be fired from a number of scientific laboratories. Eventually, Waksal did achieve fame, but as the man who brought down Martha Stewart in an insider trading scandal that ultimately sent Stewart and Waksal to jail after Erbitux failed to win FDA approval. Prud'homme tells the whole story in The Cell Game: Sam Waksal's Fast Money and False Promises—And the Fate of ImClone's Cancer Drug.
Prud'homme's book is "an intriguing look into a fascinating world," according to Salon.com reviewer Andrew Leonard. While Leonard faulted the book for "a lengthy rehashing of the already well-told tale of Martha Stewart," as Prud'homme explained to Publishers Weekly contributor Ron Hogan, "I resisted the Martha angle for a long time. . . . But then her celebrity took over the story; it's how most people know about ImClone, and I had to embrace that." A Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded that "it's well worth reading the book now to appreciate what's really at stake in ImClone's downfall." Oddly enough, noted Booklist reviewer Ray Olson, Erbitux "remains very promising as a specific against tumors." The real tragedy, Prud'homme notes The Cell Game, is the fact that Waksal's and ImClone's unsavory business practices have delayed the release of a potentially lifesaving drug.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2004, Ray Olson, review of The Cell Game: Sam Waksal's Fast Money and False Promises—And the Fate of ImClone's Cancer Drug, p. 930.
Library Journal, February 15, 2004, Lucy Heckman, review of The Cell Game, p. 137.
Publishers Weekly, January 26, 2004, review of The Cell Game, p. 137; Ron Hogan, interview with Prud'homme, p. 246.
U.S. News & World Report, January 26, 2004, Megan Barnett, "How the Mighty Fall," p. 16.
CNN Student News Online,http://cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/ (September 29, 2004), Bill Hemmer, transcript of CNN interview with Alex Prud'homme.
Middlebury Campus Web site,http://www.middleburycampus.com/ (April 15, 2004), Lynn Gray, "Author Spins Tale of Corporate Greed."