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Posted by on Mar 12, 2009 in Economy, Politics, Science & Technology, Society | 4 comments

Swiss Pharma Roche Buys USA-Born & Bred Genentech for $47bln

This is the kind of corporate transaction that could negatively impact the American brand name.

Genentech is an amazing story and an amazing company, but I would like it to stay an amazing American-owned company. I’m happy for the business that they have such an offer, but here we are in an economic crisis, complaining about outsourcing jobs and manufacturing, as well as importing more than we export, and still, there’s the Genentech sale.

One reason this hits me so hard is that I actually remember when Genentech came into existence in the mid-1970s. My mother was an MB&B researcher, so the field was something I was somewhat familiar with. But what I actually remember the most was learning about research into how cancer forms and the idea that cells have switches that can be turned on or off by different interactions of a whole host of possibilities.  I have several relatives who’ve battled cancer, some who have died, so this area of research has fascinated me for a long time.

And I just thought that, although I knew I wasn’t going to be a scientist, the stuff that they were doing was incredibly gripping.  And I always knew it was on the West Coast.

Here’s a nice history, with timeline, of Genentech’s development and a Wikipedia entry.

What do you think? Businesses live to be sold? But to foreign owners all?

Perhaps the money will be used to create another American original?

Something about it really bothers me. You?

Cross-posted from Writes Like She Talks.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Silhouette

    Foreign countries are astonished as to why the US would sell off vital parts of itself to outside influences. Many are smiling under calm phasods. The US is like a big whore that just sells herself constantly to the highest bidder. I’m thinking this could go wrong somewhere down the line. I’m thinking it’s a very foolish way to run a country.

  • $199537

    I have worked in health care for over 20 years and have a much different view of Genentech. They are Big Pharma at it’s worst. Maybe Switzerland can teach them some ethics.

  • Ricorun

    One of the first tech stocks I ever bought was Genentech. That was back in 1987. It’s been a wild ride. Things went well at first, but then a few studies came out that indicated their Activase product wasn’t any better at treating acute myocardial infarction than other, considerably cheaper drugs. Since that was their primary product at the time, their stock price dropped quickly and substantially. Then came the merger with Roche in 1990, and their stock price really surged. I don’t recall if it was at the same time or slightly thereafter they announced their first stock split. It was somewhere around there. At any rate, the point is that they’ve had a relationship with Roche for a very long time. And it has been a very beneficial one. So I’m neither surprised or concerned at the recent news.

  • Thanks all – very different takes on same thing. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised – I definitely have a kind of romanticized view of it for the reasons I pointed out.

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