Thursday, Apr 15, 1993

Genentech Joins Coalition in Favor of Biodiversity Treaty

South San Francisco, Calif. -- April 15, 1993 --

G. Kirk Raab, president and CEO of Genentech, Inc., today joined a business-environmental coalition in urging President Clinton to sign the Biodiversity treaty. The coalition includes the World Wildlife Federation, World Resource Institute, the Energy and Environment Study Institute, Merck, and Shaman Pharmaceuticals.

Genentech previously opposed the treaty because it did not protect intellectual property rights. The San Francisco-based company, a world leader in biotechnology, supported the Bush administration's decision to abstain from signing the treaty in Rio de Janeiro last June.

Genentech today endorsed the treaty after working with the coalition to develop ways to safeguard intellectual property rights. The group has been working since last December to find a way to break the impasse on the intellectual property rights issue. Their recommendations have been forwarded to President Clinton.

"Circumstances have changed as a result of the Clinton administration's willingness to explore ways of protecting intellectual property," Raab said. "I believe we have broken the gridlock on this issue."

The safeguards developed by the coalition are contained in an interpretative agreement that the group recommends be attached to the treaty. The interpretative statement makes it clear that the United States construes key sections of the treaty in a way that protects intellectual property rights.

"We're pleased a strong biodiversity treaty that adequately defends intellectual property rights is now possible," Raab said. "Let's hope this cooperation between business and environmental groups can serve as a model so that important public interests can be served while protecting legitimate business interests."

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, California, and is traded over the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges under the symbol GNE.

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