Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Nathans was the first scientist to demonstrate how restriction enzymes could be used to cleave DNA and how to piece together its fragments to construct a complete map of DNA. His work inspired the use of restriction enzymes for many different biotechnology applications, including DNA sequencing and the construction of recombinant DNA. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978 for his work on restriction enzymes.1999-11-16T00:00:00+0000Millennium Pharmaceuticals pays US$750 million in stock.1999-12-01T00:00:00+0000An application is submitted. 1999-12-01T00:00:00+0000Together with Herbert Boyer, Swanson helped found Genentech, the first biotechnology company dedicated to commercialising recombinant DNA. From 1976 to 1990 Swanson was Chief Executive and Director of the company and played an instrumental role in leading it to become the first major biotechnology company to show a profit and go public. 1999-12-06T00:00:00+0000Treatment uses procedure devised by Bordignon.1999-12-01T00:00:00+00002000-01-01T00:00:00+0000Identified by Jonas Frisen and colleagues2000-01-01T00:00:00+00002000-01-01T00:00:00+0000Boys participating in multi-centre trial using procedure devised by Bordignon2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000Launched by the biotechnology company Medarex in collaboration with Jim Allison. 2000-01-01T00:00:00+0000N Krauzewicz, K Stokrova, C Jenkins, M Elliott, CF Higgns, BE Griffin, ‘Virus-like gene transfer to cell nuclei mediated by polyoma virus pseudocapsids’, Gene Therapy, 7 (2000), 2122-31.2000-01-02T00:00:00+0000Mojica F J, Diez-Villasenor C, Soria E, Juez G, 'Biological significance of a family of regularly spaced repeats in the genomes of Archaea, Bacteria and mitochondria', Molecular Microbiology 36/1 (April 2000): 244–6.2000-01-18T00:00:00+0000Benesch was a biochemist who helped discover how haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells, transports oxygen from the lungs to all cells in the body. This she did with her husband Reinhold in 1967. They subsequently made important breakthroughs into the formation of sickle cells, the cause of sickle-cell anaemia, using the electron microscope. Ruth was one of the 10,000 Jewish children who escaped Nazi Germany to England as part of the Kindertransport programme. 2000-03-25T00:00:00+00002000-06-01T00:00:00+0000T. Nogtomi, H. Okayama, H. Masubuchi, T. Yonekawa, K. Wantabe, N. Amino, T. Hase, 'Loop-mediated isothermal amplification', Nucleic Acids Research, 28/12 (2000), e63.2000-06-15T00:00:00+0000U.S. President Bill Clinton and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced the completion of a rough draft of the human genome. 2000-06-26T00:00:00+0000Smith, J, Bibikova, M, Whitby, F G, Reddy, A R, Chandrasegaran, S, Carroll, D, 'Requirements for double-strand cleavage by chimeric restriction enzymes with zinc finger DNA-recognition domains', Nucleic Acids Research, 28 (2000), 3361–9. 2000-09-01T00:00:00+0000G.J. Freeman, A.J. Long, Y. Iwai, et al, 'Engagement of the PD-1 immunoinhibitory receptor by a novel B7 family member leads to negative regulation of lymphocyte activation', J Exp Med, 192/7 (2000), 1027–34.2000-10-01T00:00:00+0000Michael Smith shared the 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for a technique that enables researchers to introduce specific mutations into genes and, thus, to the proteins that they encode. He developed the method, known as site-directed mutagenesis, in the 1970s, in collaboration with Fred Sanger and Clyde A Hutchinson III. The advantage of the technique was that it allowed comparisons to be made of different protein molecules and provide a means to deliberately alter a specific gene thereby making it possible to modify the characteristics of an organism. His work opened up a new chapter for studying and treating genetic diseases. Site-directed mutagenesis is a pivotal tool today in genetic and protein research and engineering and at the forefront of the development of monoclonal antibody drugs. 2000-10-04T00:00:00+0000Bloch was a German-American biochemist who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for helping to uncover the mechanism and regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. This work laid the foundation for understanding the relationship between blood cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside the body's arteries. 2000-10-15T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
16 Nov 1999Daniel Nathans diedNathans Johns Hopkins University Restriction enzymes, Recombinant DNA
Dec 1999Millennium Pharmaceuticals acquires LeukoSite. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, LeukositeCampath
Dec 1999Regulatory approval is sought for Campath-1H for the treatment of B-CLL. Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Ilex OncologyCampath
6 Dec 1999Robert Swanson diedSwansonGenentechRecombinant DNA
1999 - 2002Multi-centre trials with gene therapy using stem cells to treat children with SCIDBordignon Gene therapy
2000Complete sequences of the genomes of the fruit fly Drosophila and the first plant, Arabidopsis, are published  DNA Sequencing, Genomics
2000Adult stem cells recognised as having potential to generate variety of cells for other organsFrisenKarolinska InstitutetStem cells
2000Retinal stem cells identified in mice   Stem cells
2000Two French boys suffering from SCID reported to be cured using gene therapy  Gene therapy
2000First clinical trials launched to test first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug containing a monoclonal antibody against CTLA-4 (ipilimumab, Yervoy®)AllisonMedarex, University of California BerkleyImmune checkpoint inhibitors, Immunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Monoclonal antibodies
2 Jan 2000Polyoma virus shown to be potential tool for delivering gene therapyKrauzewicz, Stokrova, Jenkins, Elliott, Higgns, GriffinImperial College, Czech Academy of Sciences, University of WalesGene therapy
18 Jan 2000More clustered repeats of DNA identified in other bacteria and archaea, termed Short Regularly Spaced Repeats (SRSR)Mojica, Diez-Villasenor, Soria, Juez University of Alicante, University Miguel HernandezCRISPR-Cas9, Gene editing
25 Mar 2000Ruth Erica (Leroi) Benesch diedBeneschColumbia UnivesityBiochemistry
Jun 2000Sharma took up fellowship with Lloyd Old SharmaMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center 
15 Jun 2000New simpler and cheaper PCR method published opening possibility for use in middle to low-income countriesNogtomi, Okayama, Masubuchi, Yonekawa, Wantabe, AminoUniversity of Tokyo, Osaka University, Eiken Chemical CoDiagnostics, PCR
26 Jun 2000Human genome draft sequence announced  DNA Sequencing, Genomics
1 Sep 2000 Experiments show zinc finger nucleases can create double-stranded DNA breaks in cellsSmith, Bibikova, Whitby, Reddy, Chandrasegaran, Carroll Johns Hopkins University, University of Utah, Pondicherry UniversityGene editing, Zinc fingers
Oct 2000PD-1 protein shown to be important mechanism in dampening down the immune responseFreeman, Long, IwaiDana-Farber Cancer InstituteImmune checkpoint inhibitors
4 Oct 2000Michael Smith diedSmithUniversity of British ColumbiaGene editing, Genetics, Monoclonal antibodies
15 Oct 2000Konrad Bloch diedBlochHarvard UniversityBiochemistry

16 Nov 1999

Daniel Nathans died

16 Nov 1999

Millennium Pharmaceuticals acquires LeukoSite.

16 Nov 1999

Regulatory approval is sought for Campath-1H for the treatment of B-CLL.

6 Dec 1999

Robert Swanson died

1999 - 2002

Multi-centre trials with gene therapy using stem cells to treat children with SCID

2000

Complete sequences of the genomes of the fruit fly Drosophila and the first plant, Arabidopsis, are published

2000

Adult stem cells recognised as having potential to generate variety of cells for other organs

2000

Retinal stem cells identified in mice

2000

Two French boys suffering from SCID reported to be cured using gene therapy

2000

First clinical trials launched to test first immune checkpoint inhibitor drug containing a monoclonal antibody against CTLA-4 (ipilimumab, Yervoy®)

2 Jan 2000

Polyoma virus shown to be potential tool for delivering gene therapy

18 Jan 2000

More clustered repeats of DNA identified in other bacteria and archaea, termed Short Regularly Spaced Repeats (SRSR)

25 Mar 2000

Ruth Erica (Leroi) Benesch died

Jun 2000

Sharma took up fellowship with Lloyd Old

15 Jun 2000

New simpler and cheaper PCR method published opening possibility for use in middle to low-income countries

26 Jun 2000

Human genome draft sequence announced

1 Sep 2000

Experiments show zinc finger nucleases can create double-stranded DNA breaks in cells

Oct 2000

PD-1 protein shown to be important mechanism in dampening down the immune response

4 Oct 2000

Michael Smith died

15 Oct 2000

Konrad Bloch died