Cetus Corporation (C/N)

The Cetus Corporation was one  of the first biotechnology companies, established in Berkeley, California, by Ronald E. Cape, Peter Farley, an Donald A. Glaser in 1971 and operating mostly in Emeryville before merging with another company in 1991. In its time, Cetus developed several significant pharmaceutical drugs and a revolutionary DNA amplification technique. Its early efforts involved automated methods to select industrial microorganisms that could produce greater chemical feedstocks, antibiotics, and vaccine components. By the late 1970s, three new and revolutionary techniques had been developed: recombinant DNA, monoclonal antibodies, and gene expression, which became the foundations of the biotechnology industry. Cetus raised $108 million in order to enter these fields. The company’s flagship product was Interleukin-2, (now distributed as Proleukin) an immune system modifier which had promising effects in treating renal cancer but significant side effects on patients.