• By focusing on the trajectories of some of the most extraordinary entrepreneurs of our time, Andrews and Wood remind us of the immense transformative power of individuals relative to governments and other institutions.

    Yves Tiberghien

Übercast: High Technology

George Rathmann

George Rathmann
  • Born: 1927, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
  • Died: 2012, Palo Alto, California
  • Education: BS, Northwestern University; PhD, Princeton University
  • Organisation: Amgen
  • Image credit: Amgen

When George Rathmann arrived at Amgen in 1980, the company’s resources comprised little more than $50,000 – a venture capital investment that would be worth $700 million in another ten years – and a scientific advisory board made up of stellar scientists with equally stellar, but often divergent, ideas.

Rathmann raised capital – lots of it – and focussed the company on a handful of projects that he saw as having massive market potential. And he hit the jackpot, twice. With Epogen and Neupogen – genetically engineered forms of naturally occurring hormones used to treat anaemias associated with chronic kidney failure and cancer chemotherapy, respectively – Rathmann steered the development of two of the most successful biopharmaceuticals of all time.

"Biotechnology is a beautiful, beautiful science"

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