Genset Corporation

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Genset, a biotechnology company, was established in 1989 in Paris, France with Pascal Brandys as its first president.[1]

Genset was listed on the NASDAQ and the Paris Bourse (now NYSE Euronext) in 1996.[2] Genset rapidly became the European flagship company [2] in the field of genomics and became the second largest biotechnology company in Europe in 1999. At that time, the company reported identifiable assets of EUR 80.9 million and had subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. Genset was a pioneer in private human genome research.[3] In 1994, Genset started the first large scale program to analyze the regulatory sequences of the human genome and in 1997 also initiated the construction of a map of single nucleotide polymorphisms as a tool to accelerate the discovery of genes associated with diseases.[4][5] The company also created the business model of pharmacogenomics and started the first pharmacogenomics research program in the world in collaboration with Abbott Laboratories in 1997.[6]

After 2000 Genset changed its strategy to focus on drug development, leading to the departure of its president and other founders. The strategy shift proved unsuccessful and Genset was acquired by Serono of Switzerland in 2002, now part of Merck Serono.


  1. ^ Genset: 1989 Harvard Business School Case Study Paul A. Gompers, Amy L. Burroughs
  2. ^ a b Genset Initial Public Offering Harvard Business School Case Study Paul A. Gompers, Jeffrey Anapolsky
  3. ^ Capitalizing on the genome Nature Genetics 13, 1-1 (1996) Editorial
  4. ^ Drug firms discuss linking up to pursue disease-causing genes The Wall Street Journal (4 March 1999) Robert Langreth, Michael Waldhoz and Stephen D. Moore
  5. ^ Decoding the literature on genetic variation Nature Biotechnology 21, 21-29 (2003) Roger Coronini
  6. ^ Pharmacogenomics Nature Biotechnology 18, 40-42 (2000) Technologies