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Prescription for ChangeThe Looming Crisis in Drug Development$
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Michael Kinch

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630625

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630625.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

The DNA of Biotechnology

The DNA of Biotechnology

(p.120) Chapter Six The DNA of Biotechnology
Prescription for Change

Michael Kinch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter relates the birth of the biotechnology industry, whose origins can be traced back to the Spanish flu and which would later revolutionize both fundamental understanding of life as well as create new and improved products. We then relate how the birth of biotechnology transitioned from St Louis, Missouri to San Francisco largely based on the inspiration of one man and how this controversial revolution was almost upended by popular culture. Our story then turns to the creation of one of the earliest biotechnology companies, Genentech, and why the creation of this company was mired by criticism that cost two key inventors of DNA research the Nobel prize. Genentech and other companies would soon come to embrace a technology, known as monoclonal antibodies, which allowed for selective targeting analogous to the use of modern smart bombs and create its own conflicts with the rise of aggressive patenting. The opportunities arising from the technologies inspired many government and academic investigators to become entrepreneurs, foster companies such as MedImmune to develop revolutionary new therapies to prevent a major killer of premature infants, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Keywords:   Biotechnology, DNA, Monoclonal antibodies, Respiratory syncytial virus

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