San Diego's Original Biotech Company Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Reunion

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 General News
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SAN DIEGO, Sept. 9 The Hybritech Reunion Committee todayannounced the 30th Anniversary Reunion for Hybritech employees will take placeon Saturday, September 13th, 2008 at the headquarters of AMN Healthcare in SanDiego.

In September 1978 Hybritech, San Diego's "Granddaddy" biotech company,began operations in temporary trailers located in the parking lot of the LaJolla Cancer Research Foundation (now the renowned Burnham Institute). Thecompany quickly produced the world's first commercially manufacturedmonoclonal antibody product, and soon thereafter, a series of diagnostic kitsfor allergy, pregnancy, anemia and certain forms of cancer. The company wasalso instrumental in the earliest investigations of in vivo and therapeuticapplications of monoclonal antibodies for the diagnosis and treatment ofcancer.

By 1985, Hybritech had developed its "Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)"product, the first monoclonal antibody test for prostate cancer. The bloodtest soon became the standard method for physicians to diagnose and monitorprostate cancer patients, the second biggest cancer killer among American men.

In 1986, the pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly paid $450 million in cashand warrants to buy Hybritech -- at that point the largest M&A in San Diegohistory. The company's early success -- and the visibility it created amongits founders and employees -- spurred other academic scientists andentrepreneurs to form dozens of additional life sciences companies in SanDiego.

Hybritech's original founders and employees have gone on to found morethan 175 of the several hundred life science companies now located in SanDiego county -- and comprising the San Diego life sciences "technologycluster".

"This event is a milestone celebration of all the tremendous things thatcame from the genesis of this small company 30 years ago. Who would haveforeseen how significant the impact of one company could be on our community'seconomy and its reputation as a leading area of biotech research andscientific development? I am very proud to have led this brilliant, dedicatedand innovative group of individuals," said Ted Greene, chief executive ofHybritech until the Lilly acquisition.

"There are several hundred Hybritech alumni who continue to live and workhere in San Diego who plan to attend the reunion. We also have formeremployees planning to attend who currently live across the United States andin Europe -- and who are returning to San Diego for the event. TheseHybritech alumni rank among the earliest founders of San Diego's now vibrantbiotech and life sciences 'technology cluster'. Many people, even formeremployees, are surprised to learn that the Hybritech success has become apoint of study among academic and governmental investigators who want tounderstand how 'technology clusters' are successfully created and sustained,"said Cole Owen, a member of the Hybritech Reunion Committee.

The Hybritech 30th Anniversary Reunion (for former Hybritech employeesonly) will be held at the AMN Healthcare facility in San Diego, on Saturday,September 13, 2008, beginning at 3 PM. The host for the Reunion is AMN'sPresident and CEO, Susan Nowakowski, herself a Hybritech alumnus.

Further registration information is available online at for former Hybritech employees and media.

The Hybritech Reunion is a non profit corporation dedicated to preservingthe legacy of Hybritech.

SOURCE Hybritech Reunion Committee

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