Genentech Inc., is a biotechnology corporation, founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert Boyer. Boyer is considered to be a pioneer in the field of recombinant DNA technology. In 1973, Boyer and his colleague Stanley Norman Cohen demonstrated that restriction enzymes could be used as "scissors" to cut DNA fragments of interest from one source, to be ligated into a similarly cut plasmid vector. While Cohen returned to the laboratory in academia, Swanson contacted Boyer to found the company. Boyer worked with Arthur Riggs and Keiichi Itakura from the Beckman Research Institute, and the group became the first to successfully express a human gene in bacteria when they produced the hormone somatostatin in 1977. David Goeddel and Dennis Kleid were then added to the group, and contributed to its success with synthetic human insulin in 1978.
As of August 2013, Genentech employed more than 12,300 people. The Swiss global health-care company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG now completely owns Genentech after completing its purchase on March 26, 2009 for approximately $46.8 billion.
4 Products timeline
5 Awards and recognitions
7 Further reading
8 External links
Genentech markets itself as a research-driven corporation that follows the science to make innovations. They employ more than 1,100 researchers, scientists and postdocs and cover a wide range of scientific activity — from molecular biology to protein chemistry to bioinformatics and physiology. Genentech scientists in these various areas of expertise currently focus their efforts on five disease categories: Oncology, Immunology, Tissue Growth and Repair, Neuroscience and Infectious Disease. Genentech's recent hiring and acquisitions indicate an intent to expand into Microbiology and Medical Imaging.
Building 32, one of the Genentech headquarters' newer buildings
Genentech's corporate headquarters are in South San Francisco, California, with additional manufacturing facilities in Vacaville, California and in Oceanside, California. On March 17, 2006, Genentech announced its decision to construct a new fill/finish manufacturing facility with a distribution center in Hillsboro, Oregon (near Portland) which is expected to be operational by 2010. In December 2006, Genentech sold its Porrino, Spain facility to Lonza and acquired an exclusive right to purchase Lonza's mammalian cell culture manufacturing facility under construction in Singapore. In June 2007, Genentech began the construction and development of an E. coli manufacturing facility, also in Singapore, for the worldwide production of LUCENTIS (ranibizumab injection) bulk drug substance with licensure anticipated by early 2010.
In 2009, The New York Times reported that Genentech's talking points on health care reform made it into the official statements of several Members of Congress during the health care debate.
In 1999, Genentech agreed to pay the University of California, San Francisco $200 million to settle a nine-year-old patent dispute. In 1990, UCSF sued Genentech for $400 million in compensation for alleged theft of technology developed at the university and covered by a 1982 patent. Genentech claimed that they developed Protropin, a growth hormone, independently of UCSF. A jury ruled that the university's patent was valid last July, but wasn't able to decide whether Protropin was based upon UCSF research or not. Protropin, a drug used to treat dwarfism, was Genentech's first marketed drug and its $2 billion in sales has contributed greatly to Genentech's position as an industry leader. The settlement was to be divided as follows: $30 million to the University of California General Fund, $85 million to the three inventors and two collaborating