Tuesday, Jun 24, 1997

Genentech Creates New Strand of DNA

Landmark Address Marks the Birth of Biotech

South San Francisco, Calif. -- June 24, 1997 --

Genentech, Inc., (NYSE: GNE) changed its address today to "DNA Way" at a celebration of employees and city and California state officials who joined hands to form the largest human strand of DNA ever created. It stretched several blocks along the newly named roadway that winds through the Genentech campus.

"The new address -- 1 DNA Way -- seems appropriate for the company that pioneered the industry 21 years ago, " declared South San Francisco Mayor Joe Fernekes in today's ceremony at the corner of Forbes Boulevard and what was Point San Bruno Boulevard.

DNA stands for the basic building blocks of life, deoxyribose nucleic acid, and as DNA is the basic building block of life, it also is key in the development of all products of biotechnology.

"This address is a symbol of new roads forged in biotech research," said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Genentech. "DNA Way recognizes the significance biotechnology has made to research that already has saved the lives of millions of people and improved the health and well being of many millions more. We are proud to have founded an industry that has only begun to fulfill its potential."

Genentech was founded in 1976, in the corner of a warehouse on Point San Bruno Boulevard. Today it occupies almost 2 million square feet of space in 21 buildings.

The company started with two employees; its founders Herb Boyer, Ph.D., and Robert Swanson, who have been commemorated in a bronze statue in front of Genentech's research center. The statue replicates the original meeting between the two men that resulted in the birth of a company now employing nearly 3,200 Bay Area residents and a $9 billion bioscience industry that includes 1,300 companies and more than 100,000 employees.

In South San Francisco, there are more than 20 bioscience companies representing the single largest employment sector for the area and 20 percent of the area's total workforce. This is one of the largest concentrations of biotechnology companies in the world, with more companies than the other biotech centers in Southern California, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina and Seattle.

Headquartered in South San Francisco for 21 years, Genentech, Inc., is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops and manufactures pharmaceuticals for unmet medical needs. The company is traded on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges under the symbol GNE.

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