Former biotech exec and cancer advocate Michael Becker dies at 50

Michael Becker, a former biotech executive who raised awareness about the human papillomavirus after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer, died July 9, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mr. Becker, 50, was diagnosed with stage 4 oropharyngeal cancer in December 2015. He said he was surprised to learn his cancer was caused by HPV, a cause of cervical cancer. Mr. Becker became an advocate for the adolescent vaccine Gardasil, which can prevent HPV.

"There are still a lot of misperceptions about the vaccine that are responsible for relatively low uptake," Mr. Becker said in a video recorded while in hospice care last month. The video was shared at the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia in June. "Helping ensure that other boys and girls don't suffer my same fate is important to me as I consider my legacy as a former biotech executive and, more recently, as an advocate."

During his career as a healthcare executive, Mr. Becker became a top leader at three companies before founding his own biotech communications and consulting firm.

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