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Genentech Connection:

Emerging Diseases and Genentech

One of Genentech's most significant projects related to new and emerging diseases is the gp120 program. The gp120 molecule, also known as the "envelope protein", looks like "knobs" on micrographs of the surface of the virus particle. Genentech's program involves biomanipulations of gp120 to produce a vaccine which would prevent infection upon exposure to HIV.

Currently, Genentech scientists Dr. Don Francis and colleagues are working on studies which investigate the safety and efficacy of the gp120 vaccine. As part of this program, Genentech is working with authorities at the World Health Organization (WHO) and Thai authorities to plan clinical trials in Thailand for the gp120 vaccine in individuals at high risk of HIV-1 infection.

Dr. Francis, one of the first scientists to realize the impact HIV would have on the United States, has been an indefatigable advocate for a logical public response. For more information, read the background paper on Emerging Diseases.

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