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50 Most Trustworthy Companies of the Year 2018

Delivering On the Promise of Biotechnology for Over 40 Years: Genentech


Genentech was founded more than 40 years ago, in 1976, by the late venture capitalist Robert A. Swanson and the biochemist Dr. Herbert W. Boyer.

In the early 1970s, Boyer and geneticist Stanley Cohen pioneered a new scientific field called recombinant DNA technology. Upon learning about this development, Swanson placed a call to Boyer and requested a meeting. Boyer agreed to give the young entrepreneur 10 minutes of his time. Swanson's enthusiasm for the technology and his faith in its commercial potential were contagious, and the meeting extended from 10 minutes to three hours; by its conclusion, Genentech was born. Though Swanson and Boyer faced skepticism from both the academic and business communities, they forged ahead with their idea.

Genentech, now a member of the Roche Group. It became a member of the Roche Group in March 2009. As part of their merger agreement, Roche and Genentech combined their pharmaceutical operations in the United States. Genentech's South San Francisco campus now serves as the headquarters for Roche pharmaceutical operations in the United States. Genentech Research and Early Development operate as an independent center within Roche.

Today, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. Genentech is among the world's leading biotech companies, with multiple products on the market and a promising development pipeline.

From the Chief’s Desk

Our Purpose: Doing now what patients need next

We believe it’s urgent to deliver medical solutions right now – even as we develop innovations for the future. We are passionate about transforming patients’ lives. We are courageous in both decision and action. And we believe that good business means a better world.

That is why we come to work each day. We commit ourselves to scientific rigor, unassailable ethics, and access to medical innovations for all. We do this today to build a better tomorrow.

We are proud of who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We are many, working as one across functions, across companies, and across the world.

We are Roche.

Living 10 Years In The Future

We live in an age of incredible scientific discovery. Scientists can now sequence entire human genomes in just hours. They can turn skin cells into heart cells and can create computer chips that mimic how the brain works.

If your goal is to pair this type of world-class science with real human impact, there is no better place in the world to be than Genentech.

Every day, Genentech teams work to solve some of the hardest biomedical problems in the history of mankind, always with the goal of putting patients first. To do this, the company becomes more than just scientists. It becomes explorers. It becomes pioneering drug discoverers.

And as drug discoverers, Genentech is never afraid of the unknown. In fact, it is attracted to it. Being a scientist at Genentech means living 10 years in the future and discovering transformative medicines for the people who need them.

Investigational Medicines

At Genentech, its focus is on enrolling patients in clinical trials to obtain the data required for review and approval by regulatory authorities, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Approval by regulatory authorities around the globe is the only way to make medicines broadly available to patients by prescription by a qualified healthcare provider. Therefore, its focus is in the best interest of the majority of patients with a serious or immediately life-threatening disease who require treatment.

Genentech recognizes that some patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases may not be eligible for any clinical trials and may not have other options. In rare circumstances, Genentech may provide patients with access to unapproved or investigational medicines outside the clinical trials process.

Innovative Clinical Science. Improved patient care

Genentech focuses its research and development practice on discovering and developing new medicines for unmet medical needs. Right now, the Genentech Research and Early Development pipeline have more than 20 new molecular entities in clinical development.

Pioneering Partnerships

Genentech knows that finding the right partner makes everything possible. Today, approximately 50% of Genentech’s pipeline and marketed products derive from successful collaborations with companies and institutions from around the world.

More than 40 years ago, Genentech was born out of a partnership – a collaboration between its co-founder Herb Boyer and his research colleague, Stanley Cohen, which led to the scientific breakthrough of engineering recombinant human DNA into bacteria. That collaboration laid the foundation for Genentech and the entire biotechnology industry.

Developing partnerships with companies and institutions around the globe that share Genentech’s passion for advancing science has been one of its key strategies for success. Genentech and Roche combined their operations in 2009, and since then, its research and early development group have continued to embrace the spirit of a start-up, operating as an independent R&D center located in California.

The Science of Good

Genentech knows that making medicines is just one way it can make a difference. And it is passionate about applying the skills, time and resources to positively impact the patients it serves, the scientific community and the places where it lives and work.

Bill Anderson is the Chief Executive Officer of Genentech.