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George Rathmann
George Rathmann
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George Rathmann Profile

Founding Chairman, Amgen

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  George Rathmann

Hailed as the father of the biotechnology industry, the technologist and entrepreneur George Rathmann was the founding CEO of Amgen Inc.

A chemist with a Ph.D. from Princeton, he worked for 21 years at 3M, where he helped develop Scotchgard, among other products. In 1980, he left a secure job as head of diagnostic research at Abbott Laboratories to become CEO of Amgen Inc., an underfunded start-up seeking to develop new drugs by splicing DNA from one organism into the genome of another. Rathmann led the company through a record-setting public offering, and introduced the revolutionary drug Epogen, now an essential component of therapy for kidney disease.

After building Amgen into the world's largest biotechnology firm, Rathmann went on to found Icos Corporation, where he oversaw the development of another breakthrough drug, Cialis, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Ten years later Rathmann led a third biotech startup, Hyseq, to explore the application of gene-based therapeutics to cardiovascular disease, cancer and other conditions.

This page last revised on Feb 15, 2013 11:25 EDT
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