Tour of Genentech, David Ebersman

In 1976, Herbert Boyer and Robert Swanson started the first biotechnology company – Genentech. The company used recombinant DNA technology to synthesize human insulin. Today, Genentech makes and holds the patents for a number of products used in the treatment of medical conditions. (DNAi Location: Manipulation > Production > Putting it together > The Genentech tour)

Welcome to Genentech. This is our manufacturing site in Vacaville, California. It is the largest manufacturing site in the world for making protein pharmaceutical products. Herb Boyer and Bob Swanson really were visionaries in terms of what they saw they could accomplish, the risks they were willing to take to try and found a company and, and what became an industry. The site took us about five and a half years to construct, it cost us about a quarter of a billion dollars. This is a three-storey facility and the process flows in a, in a very elegant fashion downward from the top floor where we get started, where we first take the master cell bank that has our starting point. To make a biological product we are using actual living cells as the factories and what I have here is one vial of Herceptin, that is a treatment that prolongs the lives of women with metastatic breast cancer. So what we're going to show you in this facility is how we've succeeded in scaling up this to something that's capable of producing not one dose, but hundreds of thousands of doses. To give you an example of the engineering challenges, I think we have twenty-seven miles of piping connecting the various fermenters and the various equipment to each other. Eighty liter fermentation tanks, four hundred liter tanks, two thousand liter tanks, that's the train of process that we use to get from really small scale to very large scale. The largest scale that we used here is a twelve thousand liter fermentation tank. That tank takes up two storeys, it's got about the volume of a gasoline truck. This facility has twelve fermenters in it and inside each one of those fermenters is the hundreds of billions of cells. This is the bottom of the twelve thousand liter fermentation tanks. Here are some of the key purification steps whereby we purify out the protein that we want and get rid of all the things that we're not interested in for commercialization and what we wind up with at the end is a good quality protein that we can supply to our patients. And that was Genentech, and thank you so much for visiting with us.

liter tanks,gasoline truck,vacaville california,bob swanson,elegant fashion,purification steps,fermenters,tour welcome,3d animation,breast cancer,biological product,genentech,twelve thousand,herceptin,seven miles,visionaries,pharmaceutical products,narration,billion dollars,boyer

  • ID: 15503
  • Source: DNALC.DNAi

Related Content

15033. Genentech's company policy, Herbert Boyer

Herb Boyer talks about his and Bob Swanson's vision on combining the best of academia, industry and business.

  • ID: 15033
  • Source: DNAi

15089. Stock in Genentech, David Goeddel

In 1980, Genentech became the first publicly traded biotech company. David Goeddel talks about his investment.

  • ID: 15089
  • Source: DNAi

15034. The initial investment in Genentech, Herbert Boyere

Herb Boyer reflects on his initial investment in Genentech.

  • ID: 15034
  • Source: DNAi

15032. Naming the first biotech company, Herbert Boyer

Herb Boyer talks about how the first biotech company got its name.

  • ID: 15032
  • Source: DNAi

15087. Genentech's approach to making insulin, David Goeddel

David Goeddel was one of the first scientists Herb Boyer hired for the insulin project. Here, David Goeddel talks about Genentech's general strategy for synthesizing insulin.

  • ID: 15087
  • Source: DNAi

16721. Biography 34: Herb W. Boyer (1936 - )

Herb Boyer and Stan Cohen "invented" recombinant DNA technology.

  • ID: 16721
  • Source: DNAFTB

15029. The meeting that started the first biotech company, Herbert Boyer

Herb Boyer talks about the fateful meeting, which led to the establishment of the first biotech company.

  • ID: 15029
  • Source: DNAi

15505. Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio

Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio

  • ID: 15505
  • Source: DNAi

16711. Gallery 34: Herbert Boyer

Herbert Boyer, cofounder of Genentech, Inc.

  • ID: 16711
  • Source: DNAFTB

15486. The human genome: genes and non-coding DNA, 3D animation with basic narration

The human genome: genes and non-coding DNA, 3D animation with basic narration.

  • ID: 15486
  • Source: DNALC.DNAi