Natural Selection; September 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by W. Wayt Gibbs; 2 Page(s)
Nothing succeeds like success, runs the old chestnut. So bringing together executives with proven track records and scientists of the highest caliber to deploy advanced technology to meet important market demands should all but guarantee that money will soon follow. But these days, biotechnology start-ups face a wary investment climate that often defi es that expectation.
Two years ago, for example, Darwin Molecular would have been as nearly a sure thing as exists in biotechnology. Its founders include George B. Rathmann, CEO of ICOS and founding president of Amgen--now the largest independent biotech company in the world; Ronald E. Cape, founding president and chairman of Cetus; and Leroy E. Hood, coinventor of the DNA sequencing machine and head of molecular biotechnology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Darwin's president, Mark L. Pearson, resigned as head of cancer research at Du Pont Merck. David J. Galas, formerly director of health and environmental research for the Department of Energy, took charge of the company's scientific programs in July. The list goes on.