Over a decade, Celgene raised the price of its top-selling drug more than a dozen times as Hugin became chief executive officer and eventually executive chairman. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Bob Hugin helped build a pharmaceutical powerhouse. As he seeks to claim the seat of an embattled Democratic senator in New Jersey, that legacy could be both a blessing and a burden.

Raised in Union City, a blue-collar town at the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel, Hugin, 63, was the first member of his family to go to college. Princeton was followed by the Marine Corps and a successful stint on Wall Street. He left in the dot-com era to join what was then a small and, as Hugin tells it, near-bankrupt biotechnology firm.

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