BOSTON (March 29, 2000) Herbert W. Boyer and the lateRobert A. Swanson, cofounders of Genentech Inc., have been named recipients of the Biotechnology Heritage Award for their contributions in shaping the biotechnology revolution.
The award, sponsored by the Biotechnology IndustryOrganization (BIO) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, was presented Tuesday, March 28, at the BIO 2000 International Biotechnology Meeting and Exhibition in Boston. The annual award recognizes people whose careers have contributed significantly to the growth of biotechnology through discovery, innovation, commercialization or public understanding.
BIO President Carl B. Feldbaum said, Herbert Boyer andRobert Swanson created the model for start-up biotech companies. Their vision helped build an industry that creates innovative drugs and vaccines for previously untreatable diseases, bringing relief to hundreds of millions of people.
Before founding Genentech, Swanson, who died inDecember 1999, was a partner with Kleiner & Perkins venture capital partnership in San Francisco. From 1970 to 1974, he was an investment officer with Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd.
When Boyer formed Genentech, he was a professor ofbiochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and director of the graduate program in genetics. He is well known for his work in developing recombinant DNA technology. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.
Boyer currently is professor emeritus of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF and chairman of Allergan Inc.