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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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