Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Daclizumab was approved by the FDA for the prevention of acute rejection of kidney transplants. The monoclonal antibody was developed by Protein Design Labs using a humanising method devised by Cary Queen and marketed together with F. Hoffmann-La Roche. 1997-12-01T00:00:00+0000This overturns the long-held belief that the brain is unable to generate new neurons.1998-01-01T00:00:00+0000Analysis of 29 MS patients given MS indicate Campath-1H might be more effective if given earlier in the course of the disease.1998-01-01T00:00:00+0000The drug is a monoclonal antibody that targets cancer cells that overproduce the HER2/neu oncoprotein1998-01-01T00:00:00+0000German Council of Science recommends the State and universities and research organisations provide adequate child care services and make appointment procedures gender-neutral to improve number of women in higher positions within science1998-01-01T00:00:00+00001998-01-01T00:00:00+00001998-01-01T00:00:00+0000Introduction of RNA into cells is shown to silence genes in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. This led to the coining of the rerm 'RNA interference'. A Fire, S Xu, M K Montgomery, S A Kostas, S E Driver, C C Mello, 'Potent and specific genetic interference by double-stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans', Nature 391 (1998), 806–11.1998-02-01T00:00:00+0000Hitchings was an American physician who helped develop new methods to design drugs that took advantage of the biochemical differences between normal human cells and pathogens (disease-causing agents). The aim was to create a drug capable of killing or inhibiting the reproduction of pathogens without harming healthy cells. Numerous drugs were developed on the back of the method, including for leukaemia, malaria, and antiviral drugs for herpes infections and AIDS. He shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'discoveries of important principles for drug treatment.'1998-02-27T00:00:00+0000Higher education institutions required to present plans of action for equality and collect data on distribution of scientific personnel by gender. Includes giving child rearing allowance for young women and men.1998-03-01T00:00:00+0000The trial is to test Campath-1H for treating B-CLL. 1998-04-01T00:00:00+0000Celera Corporation launches a parallel effort to sequence the human genome to the Human Genome Project. Celera's entry into the field pose policy concerns about open access to gene sequencing data and accelerates the sequencing process in the Human Genome Project. 1998-05-01T00:00:00+0000Cormack shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Medicine for 'the development of computer assisted tomography' - the CT scan. The method makes use of computer-processed X-ray measurements taken at different angles for diagnosis. Since its introduction, in the 1970s, CT scans have become a common form of medical imaging to supplement X-rays and ultrasound.1998-05-07T00:00:00+00001998-07-01T00:00:00+0000Remicade (infliximab) is approved for the treatment of Crohn's disease. Soon after Remicade wins approval for other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. The drug, a monoclonal antibody against TNF alpha, a powerful promoter of inflammation, was developed in 1989 by Jan Vilcek and Jumning Le and developed in collaboration with Centocor, Marc Feldmann and Maini1998-08-01T00:00:00+0000James Thomson, Jeffrey Jones, and co-workers reported isolating five human embryonic stem cell lines from human blastocysts (Science 282/5391 (1998), 1145-7).1998-10-06T00:00:00+0000Rodbell was an American biochemist and molecular endocrinologist who shared the 1994 Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of G-proteins and their role in signal transduction within the cell. This he received in recognition of work he carried out on the effect of the hormone glucagon on a rat liver membrane receptor in 1979-80. He discovered that GTP (guanosine triphosphate) was a strong agent for reversing the binding action of glucagon to the cell receptor and dissociate the glucagon from the cell altogether. He found that GTP stimulated the activity of the guanine nucleotide protein (later called the G-protein), which, in turn, produced profound metabolic effects in the cell. 1998-12-07T00:00:00+0000Developed by GlaxoSmithKline, the drug was originally approved for HIV. The drug does not offer a cure but helps block infected cell replication, thereby helping to reduce liver inflammation and delay scarring of the liver caused by hepatitis B. 1998-12-09T00:00:00+0000The genome of the worm was found to have more than 19,000 genes. The sequence was found to follow those of viruses, several bacteria and a yeast. The project was initiated with the development of a clone-based physical map which was important for undertaking the molecular analysis of genes. The results were published by the C elegans Sequencing Consortium in Science, 282/5396 (1998), 2012-8. 1998-12-11T00:00:00+0000Hodgkin was an English physiologist and biophysicist who helped discover with Andrew F Huxley the chemical processes responsible for the transmission of electrical impulses from one nerve cell in the brain through to other nerve fibers. This they did based on experiments involving the introduction of microelectrodes into the giant nerve fibre of the squid. Hodgkin received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1963 for this work. 1998-12-20T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
Dec 1997First humanised monoclonal antibody approved for marketQueenProtein Design Labs, RocheMonoclonal antibodies, Recombinant DNA
1998Human brain demonstrated to contain cells with stem-like propertiesEriksson, GageSahlgrenska University Hospital, Salk InstituteStem cells
1998Analysis of 29 MS patients given MS indicate Campath-1H might be more effective if given earlier in the course of the disease.Compston, Coles, Waldmann, HaleCambridge UniversityCampath
1998FDA approved Trastuzumab (Herceptin) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer   Monoclonal antibodies, Oncology
1998Amendments made to German Higher Education Framework Act to promote gender equality in universities and provide greater support for young scientists   
1998European Commission Research Directorate General set up an expert group to prepare a report on women-and-science policy in the European Union   
Jan 1998Sharma's second daughter was bornSharma  
Feb 1998Double stranded RNA demonstrated to be potent mechanism for silencing genesFire, Mello, Xu, Montgomery, Kostas, Driver, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, University of Massachusetts Cancer CenterRNA interference, Genetics
27 Feb 1998George H Hitchings diedHitchingsWellcome Research LaboratoriesPharmacology
Mar 1998Academy of Finland set up working group to investigate career opportunities for women and ways to eliminate obstacles preventing equality in academic scientific community   
Apr 1998Leukosite and Ilex Oncology launch their first joint clinical trial of Campath-1H. Leukosite, Ilex OncologyCampath
May 1998Commercial Human Genome Project launchedVenterCelera GenomicsDNA Sequencing,, Genomics
7 May 1998Allan M Cormack diedCormackTufts UniversityDiagnostic imaging
Jul 1998Sharma took up clinical residency in internal medicineSharmaNew York Hospital, Cornell University 
Aug 1998FDA and European regulatory authorities approved the first monoclonal antibody drug for an autoimmune diseaseVilcek, Le, Feldmann, Maini, SchoemakerNew York University, Centocor, Kennedy Institute of RheumatologyMonoclonal antibodies
Oct 1998First human embryonic stem cell line derived Thomson, Itskovitz-Eldor, Shapiro, Waknitz, Swiergiel, Marshall, JonesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonStem cells
7 Dec 1998Martin Rodbell diedRodbellNational Institute of Environmental Health SciencesCell
9 Dec 1998FDA approved the first antiviral drug, lamivudine, for treating chronic hepatitis B GlaxoSmithKline 
11 Dec 1998Publication of complete genome sequence of the first multicellular organism, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans Sanger Institute, Washington UniversityDNA Sequencing, Genomics
20 Dec 1998Alan Lloyd Hodgkin diedA HodgkinCambridge UniversityNeuroscience

Dec 1997

First humanised monoclonal antibody approved for market

1998

Human brain demonstrated to contain cells with stem-like properties

1998

Analysis of 29 MS patients given MS indicate Campath-1H might be more effective if given earlier in the course of the disease.

1998

FDA approved Trastuzumab (Herceptin) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer

1998

Amendments made to German Higher Education Framework Act to promote gender equality in universities and provide greater support for young scientists

1998

European Commission Research Directorate General set up an expert group to prepare a report on women-and-science policy in the European Union

Jan 1998

Sharma's second daughter was born

Feb 1998

Double stranded RNA demonstrated to be potent mechanism for silencing genes

27 Feb 1998

George H Hitchings died

Mar 1998

Academy of Finland set up working group to investigate career opportunities for women and ways to eliminate obstacles preventing equality in academic scientific community

Mar 1998

Leukosite and Ilex Oncology launch their first joint clinical trial of Campath-1H.

May 1998

Commercial Human Genome Project launched

7 May 1998

Allan M Cormack died

Jul 1998

Sharma took up clinical residency in internal medicine

Aug 1998

FDA and European regulatory authorities approved the first monoclonal antibody drug for an autoimmune disease

Oct 1998

First human embryonic stem cell line derived

7 Dec 1998

Martin Rodbell died

9 Dec 1998

FDA approved the first antiviral drug, lamivudine, for treating chronic hepatitis B

11 Dec 1998

Publication of complete genome sequence of the first multicellular organism, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans

20 Dec 1998

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin died