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Genentech Inc. (NYSE: DNA), a composite of Genetic Engineering Technology, Inc., is a leading biotechnology corporation, which was founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert W. Boyer.  It is considered to have founded the biotechnology industry. One of its founders, Boyer, is considered to be one of the pioneers in the field of recombinant DNA technology (the company's ticker symbol reflects Boyer's contribution to the field). Boyer with a fellow researcher, Stanley Norman Cohen, in 1973, invented recombinant genetic engineering, by realizing 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, Robert 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 insulin in 1978.
Currently (2006), Genentech employs more than 10,000 people and Arthur D. Levinson is the Chairman and CEO. The Swiss pharmaceutical conglomerate Hoffmann-La Roche owns the majority of Genentech shares .
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Genentech's corporate headquarters is at South San Francisco, California, with additional manufacturing facilities in Vacaville, California. In June 2005, Genentech purchased Biogen Idec's manufacturing facility in Oceanside, California. On March 17, 2006, Genentech announced its decision to construct a new manufacturing facility in Hillsboro, Oregon 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 manufacturing facility under construction in Singapore.
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 scientists, $50 million towards a new teaching and research campus for UCSF, and $35 million to support university-wide research.
Genentech markets itself as a research-driven corporation that follows the science to make new innovations. They employ more than 700 scientists 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 three disease categories: Oncology, Immunology, and Tissue Growth and Repair. Genentech recent hiring and acquisitions indicate an intent to expand into Microbiology and Neuroscience divisions. Genentech research facilities are located only on the South San Francisco campus.
Corporate Chronology. Genentech Inc.. Retrieved on May 30, 2005.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Genentech". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|