The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

The lobby at the Institute for Systems Biology filled up fast, before the program.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Icos co-founder Christopher Henney came out to join the show. Guy Rosman later grabbed the mic and encouraged his fellow Icosahedrons to give Henney a round of applause for his work building the company.

Chris Henney at the Icos reunion last week.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Mary Kay Ligocki (center) came out to the event, as part of the crowd that came early and stayed late.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

The memorabilia display was fantastic. Tom St. John, Allen Casey, Ed Kesicki, Judith Woods, and Diane Rosman all contributed their mugs, pens, T-shirts, and bags covered in Icos and Cialis logos.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Albert Yu (center) told the story of the Icos drug that went on to have a dramatic effect for leukemia patients, when it was developed later at Seattle-based Calistoga Pharmaceuticals.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Mark Honda (center) was part of the group that stayed on with CMC Biopharmaceuticals after the Eli Lilly acquisition. He's now the VP of Human Resources at SNBL USA.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

Ed Kesicki broke out the tie-dyed Icos T-shirts. At the top of the photo, you can also see one of the paintings that hung in the Icos lobby from beginning to end.

The Icos Impact

The Icos Impact

There were lots of hugs and smiles going around as people re-connected with friends they hadn't seen in years. In the background, Accelerator's David McElligott (in black jacket) can be seen scanning the crowd for familiar faces.

icos5

icos5

At Icos, there was an on-site day care center to make it easier for working parents to pull long hours in the lab. There was a tolerance for different personal styles, even when that meant a certain scientist could roam the labs with no shirt on. And nobody ever strangled anybody, at least as far as Patrick Gray could remember (unlike at Genentech).

We had an awesome time Tuesday night hearing stories about the culture at Bothell, WA-based Icos, and what made that company the success story it was in the 1990s and 2000s. These anecdotes were some of the highlights of “The Icos Impact,” which drew about 200 people to the Institute for Systems Biology. The turnout for this event was a testament to the camaraderie people feel in the Icos alumni network, since this company had only 500 local employees at its peak.

Here are a few photos that I snapped from the festivities, which include Icos alumni and folks who crossed paths with Icosahedrons in various ways. Enjoy.