Dendreon, Resisting Urge to Sell, Eyes Opportunity to Be Seattle’s Next Immunex
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as Gold in the lead role. I take Gold seriously when he says he wants to build Dendreon into a regional anchor, because it’s something he has repeated to me virtually since the day he got the top job.
The “sell it, or build it” question matters for shareholders who want to fatten up their portfolios, but it’s also of great importance to Seattle biotech, which has a number of intriguing biotech companies developing products, but nobody with the kind of commercial mass that comes from having a product with $1 billion annual sales potential like Dendreon. If Gold sells the company, that will have consequences for the community as it tries to regain its biotech mojo. So I asked him about how big of an impact his company can really have on the local landscape, and whether it might someday grow into a regional anchor like Boston has with Biogen Idec and Genzyme. Dendreon only has about 200 employees now.
“We’re going to have a big impact,” Gold says. “We haven’t really had a major commercial success in Seattle biotech since Immunex, and I think you’ll see us bring a lot of the things they did.”
That means he’s going to import a lot of talented employees from around the country who want to work on a treatment with potential to transform prostate cancer (it had 88 job openings at last count), and it will serve as a magnet for institutional investors, getting them to travel from New York to Seattle, a trip they otherwise wouldn’t make.
“When the investors come out here to see us, they can stop to see some of the other companies here, so they all can benefit,” Gold says.
What about becoming the training ground for people to cut their teeth at, before they launch their own entrepreneurial ventures, a role performed in Boston … Next Page »