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Co-Founder, First CEO of Ventura County Based Biotech Giant Dies

Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 8:03am

The co-founder, and first CEO of biotech giant Amgen has died.

George Rathman was a chemist, and pharmaceutical executive when he helped start the company in 1980.

He guided the Thousand Oaks based company through its early years, lining up critical funding for its growth, including its first public stock offering.

The company was on shaky ground at first, staking its future on a handful of drugs it hoped would become important medical therapies, and big sellers.

Experts say the company is now worth an estimated $54 billion dollars.

Rathman died from complications of pneumonia at his Palo Alto home. He was 84 years old.

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