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Prominent Lawyer's Son Pleads Father's Case

Prominent Texas trial lawyer Fred Baron, founder of the firm Baron & Budd and a major Democratic Party fundraiser, is dying of cancer, and his son has taken up his defense. Andrew Baron wrote this week to James C. Mullen, chief executive of Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen Idec, pleading with him to let his father use the experimental drug Tysabri. The younger Baron, founder of Rocketboom, posted the letter Tuesday on his blog, Dembot. And to help argue his case, he's enlisted some big-name celebrities and politicians.

According to the letter, Fred Baron may have only days to live. He is being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for the blood cancer multiple myeloma. His doctor has been studying the use of Tysabri, a multiple-sclerosis drug, in cancer patients, and wants to use it to treat Baron, but Biogen has refused. It says that Baron does not fit the drug trial's profile and allowing him to use it could jeopardize its use by thousands of other patients. Michael Baron's letter describes calls made to Biogen on his father's behalf by President Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John Harkin, Sen. Ted Kennedy and cyclist Lance Armstrong, among others, but to no avail. "Please Mr. Mullen, there is no time left," Baron writes. "There is no justification. Just say yes."

Several years ago, the 61-year-old Fred Baron sold his interest in the firm he founded and stopped practicing law to focus on political fundraising. He was finance chair of Sen. John Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign and co-chair of Sen. Kerry's Victory '04 committee. He was in the news earlier this year when he admitted that he paid to move a woman with whom Edwards had an affair. Read more from The Boston Globe and The Dallas Morning News.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on October 16, 2008 at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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