Biotech journalist and author Luke Timmerman joins us in the KIRO Radio studios. (Erynn Rose photo)

Amgen dealt a blow to Seattle’s biotech industry last week with the announcement that it will be closing its large research-and-development campus on Elliott Bay, which dates back to its acquisition of Immunex more than a decade ago.

So what does this closure mean for the biotech industry? Our guest this week is Luke Timmerman, the veteran biotechnology journalist, who shares his perspective on Amgen’s decision and the broader state of biotechnology in the Seattle region. We talk about the key remaining players, including Seattle Genetics, Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Juno Therapeutics, the heavily funded startup developing immunotherapies for treating cancer.

Timmerman also gives us a sneak preview of his in-progress biography of biotech pioneer Leroy Hood. Timmerman, previously the national biotech editor at Xconomy, struck out on his own earlier this year to finish his work on the book.

The biotech conversation begins in the second segment of the show, at the 9:10 mark in the audio player below. Also listen directly via this MP3 file.

The show starts with our “Week in Geek” news roundup. Topics include the disintegration of Sprint’s bid to acquire T-Mobile, and the ongoing battle between Hachette and Amazon, which saw a new development just this morning — as Amazon appealed to authors and readers to pressure Hachette on the issue of e-book prices.

App of the Week: Alaska Airlines’ app for iPhone, which was recently redesigned.

Name that Tech Tune: Do you know which type of computer featured these sounds? Send your answer to contest@geekwire.com for a chance to win a RainGlobe. From the pool of correct answers we’ll pick one person at random to win the prize.


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  • NE-PNW VoorTrekker

    Great job again, Luke. Nobody in the press knows the Seattle business better than him. One thing that was missed- 660 permeant jobs will be cut. Don’t forget there are another 80-100 temporary workers at the two WA sites. These aren’t just 22 year old UW graduates looking for experience. Most of them are 10-15 year experienced biotech. veterans with spouses, mortgages, and children, working underemployed for Amgen.

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