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Death of billionaire founder of Canadian drug firm and his wife ‘suspicious’, say police

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 December, 2017, 8:23pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 December, 2017, 8:23pm

Canada’s global pharmaceutical giant Apotex has confirmed the death of its billionaire founder Barry Sherman, after police reported two “suspicious” deaths at the couple’s upscale Toronto home.

Police did not identify the victims, who were found on Friday, but Canadian media named them as Sherman and his wife Honey, prominent Canadians whose deaths sparked an outpouring of grief among the country’s political elite.

“We’ve been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away,” said the Twitter account of Apotex, which Sherman founded in 1974.

The company, which made its name producing generic drugs, grew to employ more than 11,000 people worldwide.

Toronto Police said on Twitter that “two people (were) found deceased in a home” in the Bayview Avenue and Old Colony Road area, after officers responded to a medical call around noon on Friday.

They labelled the deaths suspicious but, according to Canadian media, clarified that no suspects were being sought.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was “saddened by news of the sudden passing of Barry and Honey Sherman”.

He spoke on Twitter of the “vision and spirit” of the couple.

Linda Frum, a member of the Canadian Senate, said she was “gutted by the loss” of the couple, two weeks after presenting a medal “to one of the kindest and most beloved members of Canada’s Jewish community”.

They were “remarkable people”, said Bob Rae, former premier of Ontario province which includes Toronto.

“Grappling with this terrible news,” he wrote on Twitter.

Canadian media said the Shermans had recently put their home up for sale for about C$7 million (US$5.5 million).

Forbes lists Sherman as one of the country’s richest men, with a net worth of US$3 billion.