Friday, Feb 11, 1994
South San Francisco, Calif. -- February 11, 1994 --At a groundbreaking ceremony today, Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: GNE) announced the start of construction of a new $58 million Process Science Center. The new building project is part of the company's strong growth pattern, highlighted most recently by the completion of an $85 million Founders Research Center dedicated in October, 1992 and a $37 million manufacturing expansion completed in 1993.
Genentech President and Chief Executive Officer G. Kirk Raab pointed out that "AIthough Genentech is a global organization, we still base our key operations here in South San Francisco, including administration, research and development, manufacturing and marketing."
Raab summarized the company's growth by explaining: "in 1976 there were only two employees occupying 500 square feet of office space. With the completion of this new laboratory," said Raab, "we will occupy 19 buildings totaling 1.7 million square feet."
Govemor Wilson participated in the ceremony and commended Genentech "For the prestige and economic vitality it has brought Califomia." The Govemor also noted that "The biotechnology industry has outpaced most other Califomia industries in terms of growth, while benefiting from California's unique mix of leading universities, highly trained labor force, and cultural amenities."
Other distinguished guests included Assembly Speaker Brown, Senator Kopp, and Assembly Members Alpert, Klehs, and Vasconcellos. The Mayor of South San Francisco, Joseph Fernekes, also attended with the City's Council members and Planning Commissioners.
In remarks at the ceremony, Raab pointed out that the Genentech groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of one significant project that is only part of the $3.7 billion in construction the health care technology industry is projected to spend in Califomia between 1992 and 1996. The project will employ about 350 construction workers out of the 111,000 new jobs expected to be generated throughout the economy by construction in the State's health care technology industry during the same period. When complete, the three story center will house 170 of Genentech's 2,500 employees--again just part of the 143,000 workers directly employed by the Califomia health care technology sector.
Raab thanked the Govemor and legislative leaders for working with the biotechnology industry to produce legislative progress that will be instrumental in allowing essential growth. Two recent legislative reforms Raab predicted will promote the biotechnology industry in the state are California's R&D tax credit and its investment tax credit, with special provisions to encourage biotechnology spending.
"The R&D tax credit will be instrumental to Califomia's growth because the continued vitality of the state is directly linked to the vitality of the R&D in the many high technology industries located here," said Raab. "As we at Genentech increase our manufacturing capability to match our sales growth, the investment tax credit will be particularly important in allowing us to stay in Califomia."
South San Francisco was also cited as creating a hospitable environment for business to flourish. "Our local community has been very supportive in the planning phase of this project and has been responsive to our many and complex permitting needs," Raab said.
Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, Califomia, and is traded on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges under the symbol GNE.
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