Did you know that an Immunex employee once ended up swimming with the otters at the Seattle Aquarium during a company holiday party? Or that Immunex executives once mocked an uptight Big Pharma partner from Wayne, NJ by producing a video spoof on “Wayne’s World,” the comedy sketch from Saturday Night Live?
Yes, these are the same goofballs who created a $7 billion-a-year drug for autoimmune diseases and established Seattle as one of the top handful of biotech hubs in the world.
I’ve been digging up a lot of fun stories from Immunoids to prepare for the next big Xconomy Seattle event, “The Immunex Impact” on Dec. 1. We have more than 150 people registered from all over the biotech community—both Immunex alumni and non-alumni—for what will be a truly special event.
As we get ready for the big event, I thought it would be fun to put together a little trivia quiz. If you’d like to participate, just send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Immunex Trivia Quiz” in the subject line, and your answers in the body of the email. I’ll plan to announce the winner in person at “The Immunex Impact” and will hand over a surprise piece of Immunex memorabilia as the prize.
1. What was Immunex’s all-time high stock price, adjusted for splits? Hint: It came in March 2000.
2. What year did Immunex win FDA approval for Enbrel?
3. Who were the so-called “Three Amigos” on the early Immunex executive team?
A. Steve Gillis, Chris Henney, Steve Duzan
B. Ed Fritzky, Peggy Phillips, Doug Williams
C. Steve Gillis, Michael Kranda, Alan Frazier
4. How much did Enbrel sell in its first full year on the U.S. market?
A. $150 million
B. $258 million
C. $632 million
D. $367 million
5. In 1995, American Home Products made a hostile takeover bid for Immunex when the stock price was at $12 a share. What did AHP (later called Wyeth) offer?
6. What did Ed Fritzky famously do with his Porsche while getting an update about how the Enbrel team performed at an FDA advisory committee?
A. Got into a fender-bender
B. Drove off with a gas station nozzle stuck in his tank
C. Blared the horn loud enough to alert nearby police
D. Got a speeding ticket
7. True or False: Immunex researchers once collected urine in company bathrooms for scientific purposes
8. Which of the following nicknames were occasionally used to refer to Immunex?
A. Immunex University
B. The Lazy I
C. Cytokines R’Us
D. All of the above
9. How many employees did Immunex have in Washington state at the time of the Amgen acquisition agreement in December 2001?
10. Who said the following in a 2001 Seattle Times story about Immunex’s 20th anniversary: “When it came to marketing, we didn’t know anything.”
A. Steve Duzan
B. Chris Henney
C. Ed Fritzky
D. Peggy Phillips
11. Who made the following comment in that same 2001 Seattle Times story: “Drug companies are only as good as their next product. Enbrel is a big deal, no question, but it’s very important that Immunex be able to point to its pipeline and say, ‘Here’s our next home run or triple.’ You can’t get by on singles.”
A. Steve Gillis
B. Doug Williams
C. Bruce Carter
D. George Rathmann
12. Which scientist made the following comment in the 2001 Times story: “I’m not really sure when the connection hit on Immunex becoming a business.”
A. Craig Smith
B. Dave Cosman
C. Linda Park
D. Dave Urdal
13. Amgen agreed to pay $16 billion in cash and stock to buy Immunex in December 2001. But the stock prices of the companies fell in 2002, bringing the price down when the deal closed seven months later in July. What was the final value?
A. $14 billion
B. $8 billion
C. $12 billion
D. $10 billion
14. Three of the following venture capital firms invested in Immunex prior to its 1983 initial public offering. Which one DIDN’T?
A. Cable, Howse & Cozadd
B. The Mayfield Fund
C. US Venture Partners
D. New Enterprise Associates
15. How old was Steve Gillis when he co-founded in 1981 with Chris Henney?
16. Immunex was briefly worth more than which iconic company of the Northwest?
17. What was the name of the 17-year-old girl with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis who took Enbrel, and responded so well that she threw out the first pitch in a Mariners game at Safeco Field?
A. Jill Harrison
B. Katie Emmerson
C. Rebecca Ford
D. Tina Underwood
18. Which employee had the single longest tenure at Immunex?
A. Dave Cosman
B. Susan Erb
C. Beth Fortmueller
D. Carl March
19. A famous sign once hung over a doorway that employees used on their way to work at Immunex. What did it say?
A. “Through these doors pass the best in the business – Immunex employees.”
B. “Immunex: We are a great company, and aim to be a greater company.”
C. “Immunex: Transforming the promise of biotechnology into therapies that restore health and save lives.”
D “If you want a parking space with your name on it, turn around and leave. If you want to do great science, come on in.”
20. What kind of business did Steve Duzan own when he was tapped to be Immunex’s first CEO?
A. Lumber company
B. Ice-making equipment maker
C. Beer distributor
D. Lab supplies
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