In "Gene Jockeys" Nicolas Rasmussen revisits evens that led to development of the first 5 major biotech drugs [based on DNA recombination] that created new biotech industry.
These 5 recombinant drugs were insulin, human growth hormone, interferons, erythropoietin and tPA. Several pioneering biotech companies such as Genentech, Amgen, Genetics Institute, Biogen, Cetus and events and people who led drug development are being discussed, frequently in too much details.
The author tries to explain how economical context drove biotech frenzy in early 80s and how within 15 years it became transformed from "open" science-driven industry into closed patent courts-supported closed monopoly environment.
It was so revealing to know that all these 5 drugs were simultaneously pursued by several biotech companies as if they were eavesdropping on each other's work and did not have any original ideas themselves.
posted by DavidTweet