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"