Washington Biotechnology Jobs
Immunex and later Amgen were strong corporate citizens, and the company history includes groundbreaking discoveries that dramatically improved the lives of millions around the globe.
But this is an industry that never rests or remains static. Out of instability and churn, new ideas grow, morph and progress. Opportunities follow setbacks — there are no dead ends, just new avenues that have yet to be explored.
Our elected representatives have done many good things to support the life sciences, such as using money from the 1998 tobacco settlement to help fund research, and implementing 20 years ago a successful research-and-development tax credit that contributed to the growth of Washington’s life-science industry. But to take full advantage of the opportunities here, we must do more.
My career attests to the vitality that occurs at the intersection of discovery and commerce.
After serving at Immunex for 11 years, I led a spinoff called Targeted Genetics from 1992 to 2008. I was also chief executive of Receptech, and served as chief executive of the Infectious Disease Research Institute here in Seattle.
Industry veterans sometimes get together and trace where people landed after each job. For example, the talented group at Targeted Genetics later worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle Genetics, ZymoGenetics, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and NanoString Technologies, among many other companies and institutions.
Knowledge builds and evolves. Personal connections and professional opportunities create a buzz and an environment where people are excited to come and invest and pour themselves into an idea that can change lives and grow the economy. This environment is rare. Boston has it. The Bay Area has it. And we have it.
Seattle is fortunate to have a strong ecosystem that is supportive of biotech startups. There are attorneys, accountants and investors who know the industry and how to put people and resources together.
Angel investors and venture capitalists are particularly influential in the local economy. They do their homework and stay involved with the company founders.
The jobs they fund are the type we are hoping Washingtonians will be equipped to take: science, technology, engineering and math. These jobs are well-paying, and people employed in this industry tend to be engaged and involved in their communities.
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