Posted by MedTech Expert on 2008-04-30
Tags: Venture Business Vision
"Science Lessons: What the Business of BioTech Taught Me About Management" by Gordon Binder, Harvard Business School Press.
The firm (Amgen) was founded in 1980 by six venture capitalists who put up $81,000 each. Their strategy was, by today's standards, incredibly broad: to exploit the new science of genetic engineering for human health...Amgen consisted then of just three people and "couldn't point to any products or patents, only a plan."
One of the books central tenets is that there's never enough money.
Amgen made forays into various fields, from porcine growth hormone to detergent enzymes. None panned out. The company's central focus, however, remained human therapeutics, where it had five potential products. Of these, Binder describes erythropoietin (EPO) as "the runt of the litter."
The rest is history as EPO went on to become Amgen's runaway success making Amgen one of the most successful biotech start-ups of its day.
You can read more of David's review in the current issue of "The Journal of Life Science." It is clear that those building companies in the early 80s were a different breed. Have we become too institutionalized"PRIVATE: Members Only