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The Worst Biotech CEO of 2011 Is ...

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- The Worst Biotech CEO of 2011 award goes to Mitch Gold of Dendreon (DNDN).

TheStreet's biotechnology readers have spoken, tagging Gold for the Provenge launch fiasco and subsequent pounding of Dendreon's share price. Gold took the top (dis)honor with 37% of the 1,800 votes cast in the Worst Biotech CEO of 2011 poll.

Gold actually was lauded with the Best Biotech CEO Award last year, so his fall from grace is even more breathtaking. Knowing Gold as I do, he'll work hard in 2012 to snag another Best CEO nomination -- if his angry shareholders don't kick him out first.

Runner-up with 30% of the vote was KV Pharma's (KV-A) Greg Divis Jr. for his magnificent Makena-marketing mishaps.

Third place went to Mannkind's (MNKD) Al Mann, followed by Amarin's (AMRN) Joseph Zakrzewski and Gilead Sciences' (GILD) John Martin.

Gold takes home the Nance Trophy named in recognition of David Nance, the former CEO of now bankrupt and defunct Introgen Therapeutics. Few CEOs in biotech did more to hone the fine craft of investor bamboozlement and outright incompetence as Introgen's Nance.

Gold joins a pantheon of chief executive screw-ups: Elan's (ELN) Kelly Martin, Genzyme's Henri Termeer and Dan Bradbury of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN).

Many readers admonished me for failing to nominate Cell Therapeutics (CTIC - Get Report) CEO Jim Bianco. As I've said before, he's actually the Worst Biotech CEO Emeritus. Besides, Cell Therapeutics is down only 36% this year, about half that of 2010. [Yes, Bianco will argue that he deserves a raise. His patsy board will undoubtedly oblige.]

Rajiv Gandhi, the long-dead Indian prime minister contacted me from beyond the grave requesting I name Doug MacLellan of Radient Pharmaceuticals (RXPC) this year's Worst Biotech CEO.

I considered the request but decided MacLellan deserved some mercy. In addition to the embarrassment of boasting about holding business talks with a government official dead for 20 years, MacLellan is still recovering from the pseudo-partnership with the Mayo Clinic, Radient's massive loan default, the reluctant disclosure that its India joint venture was a bust and the delisting from the Amex.

Did I mention that Radient's stock price is down 99.5% this year?

Other worthy biotech CEO poseurs for 2011:

Adventrx Pharmaceuticals' (ANX) Brian Culley for providing the FDA with a year of laughter.
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