Dendreon May Not Survive Its Success: Q&A with Founder Chris Henney, Part 1
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by market cap by far. There’s no one close.
X: Right, but they only have a couple hundred employees. Can they get to the point of being fully integrated here?
CH: Immunex for a time had a market cap bigger than Boeing, when we only had 1,000 people. Immunex was the second-biggest company in the Northwest by market cap, behind Microsoft. Bigger than Boeing by market cap, which had 100,000 employees. You can’t go by numbers of people, because it will never get there.
X: Yes, but I’m talking about it being a regional anchor for your biotech cluster, like Biogen and Genzyme are for Boston, and Genentech has been for the San Francisco Bay Area.
CH: Yes, Biogen, Genzyme, Genentech, and Amgen are the original companies. They are the ones who have survived from the first round of companies from back in the early 1980s. Not many of them survive. You saw Medarex, which is a second or third-generation company, just got bought out yesterday (July 23) by Bristol-Myers Squibb. You can organically grow to $2 or $3 billion, but you need a slew of products (to continue). This is why Amgen bought Immunex, There aren’t too many billion dollar products in the biotech industry. Immunex, with Enbrel, had one. That’s why it got bought. It’s easier to have the market cap of a ZymoGenetics ($367 million) and stay around in town. But to stay as an independent company, with a several billion dollar market cap, would be very unusual.