Drug tycoon Barry Sherman found dead with wife

Dec 17, 2017, 01:08
Drug tycoon Barry Sherman found dead with wife

Toronto billionaire and philanthropist Barry Sherman and his wife were found dead in their mansion Friday afternoon, CTV reported Saturday.

Police said they learned of the deaths after responding to a midday (1700 GMT) medical call at the Sherman's home in an affluent section of northeast Toronto. "We are treating the deaths as suspicious", Toronto Police Constable David Hopkinson said in a phone interview.

"We've been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away", Apotex, a generic-drug maker, said in a statement Friday.

One of two bodies is removed from the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc
One of two bodies is removed from the home of billionaire founder of Canadian pharmaceutical firm Apotex Inc

Along the way he amassed a vast fortune, recently estimated by Canadian Business magazine at $4.77 billion, making him the 15th richest person in the country.

Authorities have not said who made the call, though Canadian media reported the couple's bodies were found by a real estate agent helping them sell their home, which was on the market for $C6.9 million (about $A7 million). He stepped aside in 2012 as the CEO, but remained as its executive chairman. "If it is determined to be a homicide, then our investigators from homicide will come in".

Sherman, 75, founded privately held Apotex in 1974, growing it by introducing large numbers of low-priced generic drugs that took market share from branded pharmaceuticals.

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Toronto mayor, John Tory, said the he was "shocked and heartbroken" to learn that the two were found dead in their home.

Sarah Alvi lives with her family across the road from the Sherman home and has known the couple for four years.

"Barry and Honey were kind, good people who will be greatly missed".

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"I am beyond words right now", Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins said on Twitter.

Mrs Sherman sat on the boards of several hospital, charitable and Jewish foundations, and last month was awarded a Senate medal for community service.

Apotex released a statement on Saturday paying tribute to its founder, praising both his philanthropic efforts and what it described as his vision for health care.

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He added that he hoped the police investigation would provide answers for those who were mourning the loss.