Genentech, Inc., is a biotechnology corporation which became a subsidiary of Roche in 2009. Genentech Research and Early Development operates as an independent center within Roche.
The company was founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Herbert Boyer. Boyer is considered to be a pioneer in the field of recombinant DNA technology. In 1973, Boyer and his colleague Stanley Norman Cohen demonstrated that restriction enzymes could be used as "scissors" to cut DNA fragments of interest from one source, to be ligated into a similarly cut plasmid vector. While Cohen returned to the laboratory in academia, Swanson contacted Boyer to found the company. Boyer worked with Arthur Riggs and Keiichi Itakura from the Beckman Research Institute, and the group became the first to successfully express a human gene in bacteria when they produced the hormone somatostatin in 1977. David Goeddel and Dennis Kleid were then added to the group, and contributed to its success with synthetic human insulin in 1978.
In 1990 F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG acquired a majority stake in Genentech.
In 2006 Genentech acquired Tanox in its first acquisition deal. Tanox had started developing Xolair and development was completed in collaboration with Novartis and Genentech; the acquisition allowed Genentech to keep more of the revenue.
In March 2009 Roche acquired Genentech by buying shares it didn't already control for approximately $46.8 billion.
In July 2014, Genentech/Roche acquired Seragon for its pipeline of small-molecule cancer drug candidates for $725 million cash upfront, with an additional $1 billion of payments dependent on successful development of products in Seragon's pipeline.See more