Cetus Corporation, and not Genentech (as stated in your article1), was the first US biotechnology company. Cetus was established across the bay in Berkeley in 1971, five years before Genentech. Although it merged with Chiron in the 1990s and no longer is a separate entity, Cetus had the pioneering vision that led to the establishment of the worldwide biotechnology industry and to the most important discovery of this industry, namely PCR, for which Cetus employee Kary Mullis received the Nobel Prize. The company was founded by physician Peter Farley, biochemist Ronald Cape, Nobel laureate physicist Don Glazer, among others. Its earliest consultants were Joshua Lederberg, Stanley Cohen, and I.

Arnold L. Demain

Drew University, Madison, NJ ademain@drew.edu

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