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Virgil Alan Place, MD 87, died March 14 at his home in Kawaihae, Hawaii. Born October 24, 1924 in Crown Point, Indiana, he served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Virgil attended Indiana University and medical school at Johns Hopkins. He became a pharmaceutical executive for Lederdle Labs in New York, Syntex Corporation and ALZA Corporation in Palo Alto, California. He was the founder of VIVUS Corporation in Mountain View, California and Pua Mau Gardens in Kawaihae. Virgil was best known for his pharmaceutical inventions and leadership in bringing products to market including the tuberculin tine test, various transdermal technologies and innovative drug delivery systems, a product to treat erectile dysfunction and, most recently, the weight-loss drug, Qnexa. His long-time personal passion was Pua Mau Gardens, a botanical garden located on the Kohala coast of Hawaii. Virgil was known for his creativity, innovation, and distinctive vision. He is survived by wife, Irina Place of Kawaihae; daughters, Tamara Hutten of Kila, Montana, Andrea Fournet of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Nicola Place of Diablo, California; son, Virgil Place of San Francisco, California; three granddaughters and a great-grandson. Services will be on Saturday, May 5th, at the Lucie Stern Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, at noon. More information available by email VP.Memorial.Info@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, please send cards, remembrances and donations to Pua Mau Gardens, PO Box 44555, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Apr. 29, 2012
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