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About Genentech, Inc.

One of the world's leading biotechs, Genentech has a number of blockbuster cancer therapies based on its antibody (protein) technologies. It has approximately 40 medicines on the market with dozens more in the pipeline. Its portfolio contains well-known oncology drugs including Rituxan (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), Avastin (colorectal and lung cancers), Herceptin (breast cancer), Tarceva (lung cancer), and Zelboraf (inoperable melanoma). Other drugs treat conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, cystic fibrosis, and asthma. Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche owns the firm, which was founded in 1976. Genentech's San Francisco office serves as Roche's US headquarters.


Roche's control of Genentech places the larger drugmaker in the fast lane of biopharmaceuticals. Roche depends on Genentech's research organization to keep its drug pipeline full of promising new biotech drugs, thus relieving stress from patent-expiration pressures in its existing product lineup. Genentech has received some 20,000 patents.

Instead of acquisitions, Genentech has traditionally relied on internal efforts (often with research partners) to develop and commercialize new drugs.  More than half of its marketed products and projects under development derive from partnerships with companies and institutions in countries across the globe. Such partners include Seattle Genetics (cancers), NovImmune (autoimmune diseases), and Adimab (antibody studies). 

The company's long-term success depends on its ability to develop novel compounds (especially as older drugs lose patent protection). However, Genentech is also seeking shorter-term success by boosting commercialization efforts for existing top sellers, including Avastin, Rituxan (known internationally as MabThera), and Herceptin. Part of the company's success comes from its efforts to expand the number of approved uses of its marketed drugs.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2018 Genentech acquired Jecure Therapeutics, which specializes in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) treatments, for an undisclosed amount. The company made the purchase to combine Jecure's portfolio with Genetech's discovery and development capabilities, as well as its expertise in NLRP3 biology, to potentially help people with inflammatory diseases.

Company Background

Roche, which previously owned a majority stake in Genentech, made the company a wholly owned subsidiary in 2009 when it purchased the 44% of Genentech that it did not already own for about $47 billion. 

Since taking full ownership of Genentech (previously a majority-owned subsidiary) in 2009, Roche has cut expenses by combining the two companies' global manufacturing and supply networks and by integrating the research, marketing, and administrative operations in the US, while at the same time working to maintain Genentech's innovative identity and culture.

Genentech, Inc.

1 Dna Way
South San Francisco, CA 94080-4990
Phone: (650) 225-1000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
CEO: Bill Anderson
Chairman: Severin Schwan
EVP Genentech Research and Early Development: Michael D. Varney
Employees (This Location): 2,000
Employees (All Locations): 11,174

Major Office Locations

South San Francisco, CA