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Description of Genentech
Genentech Inc., or Genetic Engineering Technology, Inc., is a biotechnology corporation, founded in 1976 by venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and biochemist Dr. Herbert Boyer. It is considered to have founded the biotechnology industry. One of its founders, 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. As of February 2011, Genentech employed more than 11,000 people. The Swiss global health-care company Hoffmann-La Roche now completely owns Genentech after completing its purchase on March 26, 2009 for approximately $46.8 billion.
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