Cancer researcher Ivor Royston and lab technician Howard Birndorf of the University of California, San Diego, found Hybritech, Inc. in La Jolla, an upscale beach town just north of San Diego. Seed money for the venture is provided by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. General Partner Brook Byers serves as the company’s first President and Chairman. Royston and Birndorf had assembled a business plan calling for the production of monoclonal antibodies for research purposes, but in conducting due diligence on the investment opportunity, Byers formulates a different plan. He proposes to pit the start-up against powerful competition in the clinical diagnostics market – a daunting list of immunoassay and automated analyzer manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, Syva, Baxter Travenol, Beckman, American Hospital Supply, Roche, Becton Dickinson, Coulter, Technicon, and DuPont. Byers is convinced that monoclonal antibodies will significantly elevate technical standards in the field, and generate earnings to support Royston’s ultimate goals: cures for lymphoma and leukemia.
Source: Life Science Foundation