Summary of Science Lessons

What the Business of Biotech Taught Me About Management

Harvard Business Review Press, more...

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Science Lessons book summary
Development of biotech drugs may take years. How Amgen uses good science, good values and good management to succeed.


8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Former Amgen CEO Gordon Binder recounts his biotech company’s history in clear, articulate prose. He and writer Philip Bashe make the science accessible. They explain technical terms in lay language and spell out the benefits and effects of each biotech advance. Amgen’s story includes inspiring accounts of company-wide dedication and demonstrates the utility of the scientific method as a tactic for making business decisions. Yet, some of the book’s teachings fall a bit flat. Perhaps driven by an urge to make Amgen’s experiences broadly applicable, Binder draws lessons that are so broad in scope that they risk banality and could apply to any industry. That aside, getAbstract recommends this to anyone involved in a start-up and to those who are interested in how companies evolve, change, and succeed.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Amgen went from start-up to biotech success
  • What principles it followed
  • What lessons your firm can learn from it


The Rise of Biotechnology and Amgen
Biotechnology or “biotech” applies technology to biology, creating new, beneficial compounds, generally through genetic engineering. When William K. Bowes Jr. incorporated Applied Molecular Genetics, initially known as AMGen, on April 8, 1980, few people...
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About the Authors

Gordon Binder is founder and CEO of Prime Jet, co-founder of Coastview Capital and former CEO of Amgen. Philip Bashe has written or co-written several books, including The Complete Cancer Survival Guide.

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