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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists


Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Genentech has the biotechnology industry's most extensive track record in all phases of bringing new disease treatments to patients - from discovery research through development, commercialization and product operations. With 12 protein-based products on the market for serious or life-threatening medical conditions, Genentech has experience taking a drug from A to Z, transforming the seed of an idea in a lab into a novel therapy for a patient in need. Such a fully integrated approach differentiates Genentech from other biotechnology companies.

Discovery research is the wellspring of potential products, and Genentech's research organization is among the world's finest. Genentech scientists are the most prolific in the biotechnology industry, publishing at a rate of 200+ papers a year, and are among the top one percent of researchers in the world in terms of total citations. In addition, Genentech's scientists have secured more than 4,300 patents worldwide and have another 5,000 pending.

Discovery research at Genentech focuses primarily on three areas of medicine where there is a strong need for safer, more efficacious therapies: oncology ,immunology and vascular biology . In addition, Genentech remains open to other projects where the company has significant opportunities to fill a therapeutic void in important areas of medicine.

To ensure continued scientific excellence, Genentech opened the Founders Research Center, a 275,000 square-foot, $85 million research facility devoted solely to biotechnology, in October 1992. It was dedicated to Bob Swanson and Dr. Herbert Boyer in honor of their pursuit of the promise of biotechnology when they established Genentech 25 years ago in 1976. In April 2001, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary by breaking ground on the 280,000 square foot expansion of the Founders Research Center. Scheduled for completion in late 2003, the complex - comprising the existing facility and the new expansion - will be the single largest biotechnology research facility in the world, with more than 500,000 square feet of research space containing specialized laboratories and state-of-the-science equipment in several interconnected buildings.

Genentech uses a rigorous set of criteria , including scientific factors, medical need and market potential, to determine which projects to move from discovery research into development. The scientists and medical professionals in Laboratory and Clinical Development then play the essential role of translating basic science into patient benefit. They help Genentech determine which potential new drugs are tested against specific diseases in the clinic and guide chosen drug candidates through the many phases of clinical testing. Therapeutic proteins must be delivered into the body safely, and their effectiveness must be measured and documented in order to secure marketing approval. Genentech's development pipeline has both breadth and depth, with projects targeting a range of disease areas across all phases of clinical development.