The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Thomas St. John, the VP of clinical development from 1990-2007.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Gary Wilcox served as executive vice president of operations at Icos from 1993-2007. He's now Chairman and CEO at Bothell, WA-based Cocrystal Discovery

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Cover of the Icos 1998 annual report

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Icos management from the 1993 annual report. From left: Gary Wilcox, EVP of operations; Janice LeCocq, EVP of finance/administration; Christopher Henney, EVP and chief scientific officer; George Rathmann, CEO.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Founding CEO George Rathmann, photographed in the 1999 annual report, his last as CEO.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Patrick Gray, the former VP of science, photographed in the 1999 annual report. He's now a scientific fellow at Seattle-based Omeros.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Here's one of the many inspiring comments attributed to employees in Icos annual reports. This one is from 1999, attributed to Patrick Gray.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

How many of these former Icos employees can you identify?

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

The cover of the 2003 annual report. The company was gearing up for its marketing push for Cialis, which began in Nov. 2003.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Paul Clark. the Icos CEO from 2000-2007. He will forever be known as the guy who sold the company to Eli Lilly, to the dismay of many employees.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

A company photo from the early days. From left in front: Mike Gallatin, Robert Nowinski, Christopher Henney, George Rathmann, and Boris Masinovsky (in beret). Thanks to Mike Gallatin for sharing.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Icos veterans gathered this spring in Palo Alto, CA for George Rathmann's memorial service. Photo courtesy of Mike Gallatin.

Dig around in the old files from Icos, and a few things jump out. There were a lot of smart people who worked hard, and clearly enjoyed working together. A lot of sweat equity went into turning it from an R&D shop into a “fully integrated” company with a product to sell.

Much of this cultural vibe came back to me this week as I flipped through Icos annual reports at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Library. I know it may sound quaint now, but back in the days before everything went on the Web, companies spent money to print up glossy annual reports with fancy photography, illustrations, and graphics that were meant to pump up employees and stockholders. As I get ready for our big “Icos Impact” event on Nov. 27, this is one of the best resources still around for learning about the culture that made one of Seattle’s trailblazing biotech companies go. Thanks also to Mike Gallatin for sharing a couple of great photos—one from the early days of the company and one from a more recent reunion.

Here are a few photos I’ve gathered from the various Icos files, along with a few of the inspiring messages that employees wrote for posterity. One such note from the 1999 annual report—in handwriting that looks like the work of a professional calligrapher!—Patrick Gray, the vice president of science, talked about inspiration in biotech. He said: “Getting people inspired has never been a problem. All around me are great individuals: spirited, dedicated, curious and self-motivated. Each of them generates a tremendous amount of enthusiasm, which makes this a very exciting and dynamic place.”

Gray, now a scientific fellow at Omeros, said he has fond memories of working on those reports. “George (Rathmann) always wanted a nice presentation, and the group we contracted always did a good job.”

We have more than 100 people registered for the “Icos Impact” event so far, and I’m hoping we’ll see many more of the Icos alumni and their friends from around the Seattle biotech community on Nov. 27. This will be a great chance to connect and re-connect with many of the folks who dreamed big then and are still doing it now. See you there Nov. 27.

  • Jan LeCocq

    Wow….such a trip down memory lane. My few years at ICOS were the best of my career.

  • http://www.xconomy.com/ Luke Timmerman

    Jan—I saw a very grainy black and white picture of you in the 1993 annual report. Are you able to come to Seattle for the event?