Thursday, Apr 7, 1988
South San Francisco, Calif. -- April 7, 1988 --Genentech, Inc., announced today the creation of the Genentech Research Foundation to support fundamental biotechnology research at universities and non-profit research institutions. Genentech will fund the foundation by donating royalties it receives from licensees under its recently issued broad patents that cover many of the products produced by recombinant DNA technology.
Genentech will ensure that the foundation has a minimum of $1,000,000 funding over the first four years. An independent Board of Trustees will govern the foundation and select the projects to be funded. The first projects will be announced later this year.
Basic research, which had its roots in academia, spawned the biotechnology industry. Genentech was founded in 1976 to further this basic research and to explore the commercial potential of the emerging technology. Today, biotechnology is creating a revolution in health care and its products are improving the quality of life for people worldwide.
"We want to return some of the profits of this pioneering industry back to support basic research in academia, which has proven so valuable to the creation of important new technologies," stated Robert A. Swanson, chief executive officer.
"Increased funding for basic research, and more and closer collaborations between industry and academia are essential to achieving the goal of solving the world's major health problems through the power of biotechnology. We as a company remain deeply committed to basic research through our own efforts, our many collaborations and vehicles such as the Genentech Research Foundation."
A United States patent was issued to Genentech last November based on its discovery of basic systems for the production of useful polypeptides in recombinant microorganisms. The company also announced that the Technical Board of Appeals of the European Patent Office has granted Genentech two broad patents covering the same basic recombinant DNA techniques described in the U.S. patent.
One of the patents covers the direct production of the desired polypeptide. The other covers a method for producing the desired product joined to additional amino acids in a manner that permits the additional amino acids to be subsequently cut away.
The company is beginning to contact with potential licensees to offer non-exclusive licenses under both the United States and foreign patents pertaining to these basic systems. The licenses will be granted on a product-by-product basis.
The royalty under the licenses will be one-half percent of net sales of the licensed product for licensees who sign contracts before January 1, 1989 and one percent for licensees who sign contracts thereafter.
Genentech, Inc., is a leading biotechnology company focusing on the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals produced by recombinant DNA technology.
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