Friday, Oct 23, 1992
Genentech Reports Third Quarter Results -- October 23, 1992 --Genentech, Inc. today announced the opening of its new Founders Research Center, the world's largest research facility devoted solely to biotechnology.The 275,000-square-foot, $85 million state-of-the-art facility was formally opened and dedicated to Genentech's founders, Robert Swanson and Herbert Boyer, whose commercial partnership more than 16 years ago launched the biotechnology industry. The ceremony was hosted by Genentech President and Chief Executive Officer G. Kirk Raab and Genentech Vice President of Research Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D. They were joined by distinguished guests Gerhard Casper, president of Stanford University, Julius R. Krevans, M.D., chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), and Fritz Gerber, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Roche Holding Ltd.
"Our new Founders Research Center reaffirms Genentech's commitment both to conducting the highest caliber of biotechnology research and to doing business in the Bay Area," said Raab. "At Genentech, Bob and Herb's approach was, and our's continues to be science, science, science. That's our formula for continuing to provide a steady stream of pharmaceuticals that treat significant and unmet medical needs."
Statue Commemorates Historic Meeting
The ceremony concluded with a surprise unveiling of a life-like, life-size bronze sculpture depicting the first meeting of the company's founders, Swanson and Boyer. "They had a beer, and decided what no one else believed -- the practical value of recombinant DNA technology," explains Raab. They formed Genentech by putting-up an initial $500 each. It was the first biotechnology company, and effectively launched the industry.
The bronze statue, which is seven feet long and four and one-half feet tall and weighs about 600 pounds, was sculpted by Washington state artist Larry Anderson. It will remain permanently in the courtyard among the research center's three buildings. "The statue is our way of permanently remembering the enthusiasm and risk-taking necessary to make innovation happen, as well as Bob's successful leadership in making it happen here. There isn't much we respect more than that at Genentech," explains Raab.
A New Look, But Not a New Outlook
Throughout the facility's construction and the actual moving of scientists into their new surroundings, Genentech research has not broken stride, continuing its industry-leading pace. Groundbreaking on the new research center began in October, 1990. The first scientists began moving into it in September, 1992.
When fully staffed, the complex, which consists of three interconnected buildings, will house more than 400 Genentech scientists and staff members. The researchers themselves helped design the center, which promotes an informal and highly efficient laboratory environment with maximum exposure to its majestic setting overlooking South San Francisco Bay. "It's not the building, but what goes on inside that counts." Arthur Levinson, Ph.D.
Genentech researchers will continue their work in such diverse therapeutic areas as immunology, endocrinology, neurobiology, and cardiovascular research. Targeted diseases include AIDS, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. "We are determined to find treatments and cures and to make them available to patients as soon as possible. This new research center reflects the strength of our commitment to that goal," explains Levinson.
Research Investment and Outcomes Set Industry Standard
Research efforts at Genentech have resulted in six of the eleven biotechnology pharmaceuticals available today, three of which Genentech markets. For each dollar Genentech has invested in research and development, Genentech and its licensees have achieved almost five dollars through worldwide sales of products stemming from Genentech research. Genentech invests approximately 50 percent of revenues in research and development -- the highest percentage of any pharmaceutical company (three times the pharmaceutical industry average), and makes the largest R&D investment of any biotechnology company.
New Study Shows Genentech's Publication Record Best in Industry
An important outcome of scientific research is publications. The number of publications and the number of times each publication is cited in subsequent publications by other scientists provide important indicators of the quantity and quality of research being performed.
According to a study just completed by the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Genentech leads the biotechnology industry for the period 1981 through June of 1992 in all three categories measured: greatest number of publications, greatest number of citations, and greatest number of citations per paper. In its home state of California, Genentech topped all of the state's major healthcare companies and university biology departments in terms of citations per paper. Only the Salk Institute, a non-profit organization, edged-out Genentech for the state's top honors in this most rigorous index.
Genentech also achieved a very high comparative ranking in citations per paper when compared to five of America's best university departments of biological sciences. Genentech was second only to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Department of Biology of the five schools evaluated, surpassing in rank order: UCSF's Department of Biochemistry; Stanford's Department of Genetics; University of California at Berkeley's Department of Molecular Biology; and Princeton's Department of Biology.
"In the last five years, Genentech scientists have published at a rate of 250 papers per year, or more than one paper every business day of the year," explains Raab. "That level of productivity is part of what made us decide to build the new research center -- our scientist's success wore the other one out."
Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant medical needs. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco and is traded on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges under the symbol GNE.
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