University names Silicon Valley entrepreneur Chief Commercialization Officer

Richard A. Miller

Richard A. Miller

Richard A. Miller, M.D., a veteran biotechnology entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, has been named chief commercialization officer and research professor at The University of Texas at Austin.

Miller will oversee the university's Office of Technology Commercialization with an emphasis on creating new ventures and startups based on discoveries made at the university. One of his top priorities will be to create new venture models that address the growing funding gap between discovery and commercialization.

"Startups based on technologies developed by our faculty are considered critical to the mission of the university," said Gregory L. Fenves, dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Miller is the founder, chief executive officer and president of Principia Biopharma, a startup company established to develop novel drugs for cancer and immune diseases.

"Appointing Dr. Miller to this newly created position is an indication of The University of Texas at Austin's commitment to aggressively expand its commercialization efforts and strategically position the university as an economic stimulator for Texas and for the nation," said William Powers Jr., the university's president. "Dr. Miller possesses a unique blend of attributes, having succeeded as an entrepreneur, researcher and clinical oncologist. He has created and managed successful companies in addition to building strong academic relationships. We are delighted he is joining us."

In 1992, Miller founded Pharmacyclics Inc. and was its chief executive officer. Pharmacyclics is a publicly traded biotechnology company developing novel drugs for treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The initial technology was licensed from The University of Texas at Austin.

"As a proven serial entrepreneur, Dr. Miller's expertise and unique perspectives will spur the university's campus-wide commercialization and new venture efforts resulting in economic growth, job creation and support of continued research," said Dr. Juan Sanchez, the university's vice president for research.

Miller co-founded IDEC Pharmaceuticals in 1985. As director and vice president of research and clinical, he led research and development efforts in the development of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of lymphomas. Those efforts resulted in the approval of rituximab, a leading biotechnology product widely used in the therapy of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and autoimmune disease.

Miller also was founder, director and chairman of the scientific advisory board of CellPro, a hematology stem cell company.

"I am honored to join one of the largest and most respected universities in the nation," Miller said. "It's an extraordinary opportunity to work with The University of Texas at Austin's world-class faculty to translate breakthrough technologies into innovative new products and services."

Miller will also serve as a research professor of the university's Texas Institute for Drug and Diagnostic Development.

Miller is the author of more than 120 scientific publications, has numerous issued patents and has published on various topics related to Food and Drug Administration regulation of pharmaceuticals.

Miller received his M.D. degree, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York in 1975. He trained in internal medicine and medical oncology at Stanford University Medical Center and is board-certified in both specialties. Miller is adjunct professor of oncology at Stanford.