Wednesday, May 23, 1990

Genentech Receives Important Process Patent For Gamma Interferon

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. May 23, 1990 -- The U.S. Patent Office last week awarded Genentech, Inc. a patent which provides broad protection of the process for producing recombinant human gamma interferon. This is the fourth patent issued to the company relating to gamma interferon, and is important because it protects against foreign-made recombinant gamma interferon imports into the U.S. market.

The patent covers the process from cell culture through product recovery for recombinant human gamma interferon production in bacterial and mammalian host systems. Under current U.S. trade laws, process patents of this type protect against competitors employing the process to make the product outside of the U.S. and market it here.

"The trade law wisely limits foreign competition from infringing the intellectual property rights of U.S. based manufacturers," said Stephen Raines, vice president of intellectual property at Genentech. "This most recent patent enhances the health of Genentech's gamma interferon patent position," he added.

Gamma interferon is a naturally-occurring protein which stimulates the body's immune system. Genentech has submitted an application with the FDA to market its Actimmune (TM), recombinant gamma interferon, for the treatment of chronic granulomatous disease. In addition, the company continues to study the safety and efficacy of the drug in treating patients with trauma-related infections and certain types of cancer.

Genentech had previously received three other patents relating to gamma interferon which cover the recombinant product's DNA, cell cultures and vectors, and expression vectors. In addition, the company has been advised by the Patent Office that a fifth patent, which will cover the expression vehicles necessary to make the product, will be issued soon.

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

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