Tuesday, Jan 10, 1989

Genentech Meets Sales Forecast and Announces Two Collaborative Agreements

South San Francisco, Calif. -- January 10, 1989 --

Genentech, Inc. today confirmed that product sales for 1988 increased by more than 80 percent over the previous year, as previously forecast. Sales of Protropin, the company's human growth hormone, were approximately $110 million and Activase, the clot-dissolving drug for heart attacks, achieved about $150 million in sales. Full fourth quarter and year-end results will be announced later this month.

The figures were announced by Robert A. Swanson, Genentech's chief executive officer, in a speech delivered here today at the Hambrecht & Quist Seventh Annual Health Care Conference. Swanson also announced two new collaborative agreements at the conference.

Under an agreement with Mitsubishi Kasei, Genentech will develop and market in the United States certain of the Japanese company's pharmaceutical products. The first such product, argatroban, acts as a clot-inhibiting agent through its ability to block the enzymatic activities of thrombin in the blood. Clinical trials on more than 600 patients in Japan have been completed in Japan and Phase I clinical trials are expected to start in the United States next few months.

"We will test the drug's ability to prevent deep venous thrombosis, or blood clots, a life-threatening complication of certain forms of surgery," Swanson said. He also said potential synergies between argatroban and Activase will be explored in clinical trials. "There is substantial preclinical data to indicate that the two agents in combination may make Activase even more effective as a thrombolytic agent," he said.

Swanson also discussed the collaboration with California Biotechnology announced yesterday, which is the first product development agreement between two biotechnology companies focusing in human therapeutics. Under the agreement, Genentech will be responsible for the final development, clinical trials and regulatory activities related to therapeutic uses of California Biotechnology's human lung surfactant. Genentech will have manufacturing and marketing rights in the United States and Canada for 12 years following product introduction. Lung surfactant is currently being developed as a potential treatment for infant respiratory distress syndrome, a leading cause of death in premature babies.

Genentech is a biotechnology company focusing on the development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals produced by recombinant DNA technology.

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