Genentech, Inc.
Wholly owned subsidiary of Roche
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 1976
Headquarters South San Francisco, California, United States
Key people
Ian T. Clark, CEO
Sandra J. Horning, M.D.
Michael D. Varney, Ph.D.
Frederick C. Kentz, III, Legal
Timothy L. Moore
Nancy Vitale, HR
Severin Schwan, Chairman of Genentech Board of Directors, CEO of Roche Group
Products Avastin, Herceptin, Rituxan, Perjeta, Kadcyla, Gazyva, Tarceva, Esbriet, Cotellic, Alecensa, Zelboraf, Nutropin, ACTEMRA, Lucentis, Xolair, Activase, Xeloda, Boniva, Cathflo Activase, TNKase, CellCept, Pegasys, Pulmozyme, Tamiflu, Valcyte, Anaprox, Cytovene, EC-Naprosyn, Erivedge, Fuzeon, Invirase, Klonopin, Kytril, Naprosyn, Rocephin, Roferon-A, Romazicon, Valium, Xenical, Zenapax
Owner Hoffmann-La Roche
Number of employees
13,720 (August 21, 2015)

Genentech, Inc., is a biotechnology corporation which became a subsidiary of Roche in 2009. Genentech Research and Early Development operates as an independent center within Roche.[1]

As of August 2015, Genentech employed 13,720 people.[2]


The company was founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Herbert Boyer.[3][4] 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.[5] While Cohen returned to the laboratory in academia, Swanson contacted Boyer to found the company.[3][6] 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.[7] David Goeddel and Dennis Kleid were then added to the group, and contributed to its success with synthetic human insulin in 1978.

In 1990 F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG acquired a majority stake in Genentech.[8]

In 2006 Genentech acquired Tanox in its first acquisition deal. Tanox had started developing Xolair and development was completed in collaboration with Novartis and Genentech; the acquisition allowed Genentech to keep more of the revenue.[9]

in March 2009 Roche acquired Genentech by buying shares it didn't already control for approximately $46.8 billion.[10][11]

In July 2014, Genentech/Roche acquired Seragon for its pipeline of small-molecule cancer drug candidates for $725 million cash upfront, with an additional $1 billion of payments dependent on successful development of products in Seragon's pipeline.[12]


Genentech was a pioneering research-driven biotechnology company[8] has continued to conduct R&D internally as well as through collaborations.[13][14]

Some of its research collaborations include:


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; Oceanside, California; and Hillsboro, Oregon.

In December 2006, Genentech sold its Porriño, 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.

Genentech Inc Political Action Committee

Genentech Inc Political Action Committee is a U.S. Federal Political Action Committee (PAC), created to "aggregate contributions from members or employees and their families to donate to candidates for federal office."[23]



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 (recombinant somatotropin/human 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 its 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.[24]

In 2009, The New York Times reported that Genentech's talking points on health care reform appeared verbatim in the official statements of several Members of Congress during the national health care reform debate.[25]

Products timeline

Awards and recognitions


  1. "About Us". Retrieved 22 Aug 2014.
  2. "Genentech - Great Place to Work Reviews". Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  3. 1 2 Russo, E. (2003). "Special Report: The birth of biotechnology". Nature. 421 (6921): 456–457. doi:10.1038/nj6921-456a. PMID 12540923.
  4. Genentech. "Corporate Overview". Genentech was founded by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert W. Boyer. After a meeting in 1976, the two decided to start a biotechnology company, Genentech. Although the two confidently assert that it was the first biotech company, others clearly came before, including Cetus Corporation which was founded in 1971.
  5. Cohen, S.; Chang, A.; Boyer, H.; Helling, R. (1973). "Construction of biologically functional bacterial plasmids in vitro". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 70 (11): 3240–3244. doi:10.1073/pnas.70.11.3240. PMC 427208Freely accessible. PMID 4594039.
  6. "In January 1976, 28-year-old venture capitalist Robert Swanson entered the picture. A successful cold-call to Boyer's lab led to a couple of beers—and an agreement to start a pharmaceutical company. Investing $500 each, they capitalized a new business, Genentech, to seek practical uses for Boyer and Cohen's engineered proteins. Swanson raised money for staff and labs...""Who made America? Herbert Boyer". PBS.
  7. Itakura, K.; Hirose, T.; Crea, R.; Riggs, A. D.; Heyneker, H. L.; Bolivar, F.; Boyer, H. W. (1977). "Expression in Escherichia coli of a chemically synthesized gene for the hormone somatostatin". Science. 198 (4321): 1056–1063. doi:10.1126/science.412251. PMID 412251.
  8. 1 2 Fisher, Lawrence M. (1 October 2000). "Genentech: Survivor Strutting Its Stuff". The New York Times.
  9. "Genentech strikes $919M deal to buy Tanox". FierceBiotech. November 9, 2006.
  10. Morse, Andrew (2006-05-10). "Chugai Shares Post Healthy Gain On Prospects for Cancer Drug". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2008.
  11. Staff writers (July 21, 2008). "Roche Makes $43.7B Bid for Genentech". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. ISSN 1935-472X. Retrieved September 26, 2008.
  12. Staff writers (July 2, 2014). "Genentech acquires Seragon". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  13. "Three Years After Merger, Genentech R&D Outshines That of Roche's | GEN News Highlights". Genetic Engineering News. July 3, 2012.
  14. "Living 10 Years in the Future". Genentech. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016.
  15. Carroll, John (October 3, 2008). "Genentech teams with Glycart on antibody program". FierceBiotech.
  16. "UCSF enters drug discovery agreement with Genentech". FierceBiotech. February 19, 2010.
  17. Carroll, John (October 20, 2014). "Genentech pays $150M upfront to partner on NewLink's immuno-oncology drug". FierceBiotech.
  18. Herper, Matthew. "Surprise! With $60 Million Genentech Deal, 23andMe Has A Business Plan". Forbes.
  19. Garde, Damian (Oct 20, 2015). "Genentech co-signs Nimbus' computer-aided R&D with an oncology pact". FierceBiotech.
  20. Lawrence, Stacy (June 23, 2016). "Epizyme nabs combo trial deal with Genentech for NHL candidate | FierceBiotech".
  21. "Carmot to Use Lead-Identification Technology in Collab with Genentech". News: Discovery & Development. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (Paper). 36 (14): 17. August 2016.
  22. Lawrence, Stacy (September 7, 2016). "Genentech, BioLineRx pair up a checkpoint inhibitor combo". FierceBiotech.
  23. Genentech Inc Political Action Committee, Bloomberg Business, nd, retrieved 17 July 2015
  24. Genentech Press Release. "University of California and Genentech Settle Patent Infringement Lawsuits". Genentech, Inc. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  25. Pear, Robert. "In House, Many Spoke with One Voice: Lobbyists", New York Times, 15 November 2009.
  26. "Working Mother Magazine".
  27. "TechNet".
  28. "Nature".
  29. "Science Magazine".
  30. "No. 58: Genentech, Inc.". ComputerWorld Magazine. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009.
  31. " Lists Naughtiest and Nicest C.E.O.'s of 2008". The New York Times. December 26, 2008. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  32. "Innovation Awards: And the winners are...". The Economist. November 30, 2013.

Further reading

External links

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