Barry Sherman's pharma company Apotex was involved in the supply of generic pharmaceuticals under contracts with the Clinton Foundation most recently in Haiti and Rwanda.
Pharmaceutical billionaire Barry Sherman and wife ‘strangled’
Toronto police say Apotex founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, died from “ligature neck compression,” a type of strangulation, and said homicide detectives were taking over the investigation.
In a statement, police formally identified Mr Sherman, 75, and Ms Sherman, 70, as the deceased found on Friday night at a home in a wealthy enclave in north Toronto. The Sherman family called on the police to conduct a “thorough” criminal investigation.
A police spokeswoman wouldn’t elaborate beyond what was in the statement.
A spokesman for Apotex said neither the company nor the Sherman family had further comment at this time.
Earlier, a Toronto police detective told local reporters that investigators didn’t see any signs of forced entry into the home.
At the weekend, the Sherman family issued a statement saying, “Our parents shared an enthusiasm for life and commitment to their family and community totally inconsistent with the rumours regrettably circulated in the media as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths.”
Responding to previous media reports suggesting a possible murder-suicide, the family called on Toronto police “to conduct a thorough, intensive and objective criminal investigation.”
The family said in the public statement they didn’t believe such a theory to be true.
Mr Sherman founded Apotex in 1974 as a pharmaceutical company that specialises in generic medicine. The privately held company started with just two employees and has grown to more than 11,000 people worldwide, producing approximately 25 billion doses a year, according to the company’s website. Its annual revenue is estimated to top $US1 billion.
Mr Sherman found himself and his company in the epicentre of a legal uproar in the US in recent years, after Apotex launched a cheaper, generic version of Plavix, a best-selling blood thinner. In late 2011, the privately held Apotex was ordered by a court to pay roughly $US440 million in damages to drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi in a patent-infringement case.
Mr Sherman’s net worth was recently estimated to be $US3.7 billion by Canadian Business, an online magazine, making him one of Canada’s richest people.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the couple’s friends and family on Twitter.
“We’ve been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away,” Apotex said in its statement on Friday. “All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.”
The Shermans recently were honoured by the Canadian Senate for their philanthropy, which focused on Toronto-area hospitals and support of a Kenyan charity that helped orphans.
Dow Jones Newswires