Wednesday, Jun 30, 1999
South San Francisco, Calif. -- June 30, 1999 --Genentech, Inc. today announced that two of its current scientists and two former (Genentech) scientists have won the prestigious 1999 Distinguished Inventor Award given by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). This year's winners, Gordon A. Vehar, Staff Scientist, Genentech; William I. Wood, Staff Scientist, Genentech; Daniel J. Capon, Chief Executive Officer, Genetic Information Systems, Inc.; and Richard M. Lawn, Vice President, Discovery Research, CV Therapeutics are being honored for their work on Factor VIII, a genetically engineered clotting factor for bleeding in hemophiliacs. Genentech's scientists were the first to isolate the gene for Factor VIII and to successfully use the gene to produce Factor VIII by recombinant DNA technology.
Recombinant Factor VIII, approved for marketing in the early 1990's to treat hemophilia A, is a genetically engineered form of factor VIII, the protein necessary to form clots to control bleeding which is either missing in people with hemophilia A or present in insufficient quantities. Prior to the arrival of recombinant Factor VIII therapy, people with hemophilia A received clotting factor products made from fractions of human plasma pooled from thousands of donors. Recombinant Factor VIII is derived through genetic engineering and not from human blood plasma and, as a result, virtually eliminates the risk of transmitting human viruses such as HIV and hepatitis.
The 1999 Distinguished Inventor Award winners will be honored during a ceremony in Washington D.C. on June 30, 1999 attended by leaders of government and the private sector. The IPO association is a non-profit association that serves owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The IPO awards recognize America's most outstanding recent inventors. Its purpose is to increase public awareness of current inventors and how they benefit the nation's economy and quality of life. An inventor is eligible for the award if the invention: 1) Was invented in the United States, 2) Is covered by a U.S. patent, and 3) Was either patented or first made commercially available since the beginning of 1994. Nominations are solicited by IPO from independent inventors and from inventors employed in industry, universities and government.
Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufacturers and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. Twelve of the approved products of biotechnology stem from Genentech science, seven of which Genentech markets directly in the United States. The company has headquarters in South San Francisco, California.
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