1790s

1790s

1800s

1800s

1810s

1810s

1820s

1820s

1830s

1830s

1840s

1840s

1850s

1850s

1860s

1860s

1870s

1870s

1880s

1880s

1890s

1890s

1900s

1900s

1910s

1910s

1920s

1920s

1930s

1930s

1940s

1940s

1950s

1950s

1960s

1960s

1970s

1970s

1980s

1980s

1990s

1990s

2000s

2000s

2010s

2010s

Timelines: 1991

Prev : Next Chiron acquires Cetus Corporation

The centaur and the whale


The Chiron Corporation acquires Cetus in a stock transaction worth $660 million.  The biotech giants are next-door neighbors in Emeryville, California. As part of the deal, Hoffmann-La Roche agrees to pay $300 million plus royalties for Cetus’s polymerase chain reaction technology (PCR). Chiron’s Vice Chairman and CEO, Edward Penhoet, will serve as chief executive of the new entity. Cetus President Hollings Renton will take a place on the board and act as chief consultant for Chiron’s cancer drugs. The terms of the merger give Cetus shareholders one-third of the merged company and Chiron shareholders two-thirds. An acquisition became almost inevitable for Cetus when the company failed to obtain FDA approval for its cancer drug, Proleukin (a recombinant version of interleukin-2), after eight years of expenditures on the project.
While the merger marks the end of an era in Bay Area biotechnology, the research underway at Cetus will survive. All involved parties expect that Cetus’ drug candidates will be carried to the marketplace in Chiron’s capable hands. Cetus Chairman and CEO Ronald E. Cape somberly expresses the hope: “If I were to tell you that I stand here exhilarated, you’d know I wouldn’t be telling the truth. However, we couldn’t have found a better partner. We couldn’t have found a better home.”
You have clicked on a link that will take you to another website. Click here to continue and leave the Life Sciences Foundation website.
Close