BOSTON (March 28, 2000) Leaders of the biotechnology industry meeting in Boston today at BIO 2000 announced the establishment of the Robert A. Swanson Education Fund to honor Swanson, a co-founder of Genentech who died last December. Genentech was the first company to introduce therapies derived from recombinant DNA technology. Swanson is widely credited as a pioneer of the biotechnology industry.
Mark Skaletsky, president and chief executive officer of GelTex Pharmaceuticals Inc., and chairman of the board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) unveiled the creation of the fund at a luncheon awarding the industry’s Biotechnology Heritage award to Swanson’s partner, and Genentech co-founder, Dr. Herbert W. Boyer. Swanson’s wife, Judy, received her husband’s posthumous award.
Few people have had as profound an impact on the formation and commercialization of biotechnology as Bob Swanson. One appropriate way to remember the contributions of this pioneer of biotechnology is the establishment of a fund to be used to provide scholarships to individuals who have an interest in pursuing careers in the life sciences, said Skaletsky.
Five firms, GelTex, Burrill & Company, SG Cowen Securities Corporation, BIO and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, have each contributed $5,000 to launch the fund, which has been matched by a $25,000 donation by Genentech. The non-profit Biotechnology Institute, an organization affiliated with BIO, will administer the fund.
Contributions should be made to the Biotechnology Institute Robert Swanson Education Fund, and mailed to the Biotechnology Institute, 1625 K Street, N.W., Suite 1100, Washington, D.C. 20006.
BIO represents more than 900 companies, academic institutions and biotech centers in 47 states and 26 nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental products.