Timeline of key events in biotechnology

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Leroy Hood and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology together with a team including Lloyd Smith and Michael and Tim Hunkapiller, develop the first automated DNA sequencing machine. The machine is commercialised by Applied Biosystems. 1986-01-01T00:00:00+0000Injections of a gene for pigment coloration in peturnias unexpectedly results in white flowers instead of purple flowers. US plant geneticists carrying out the experiment, Richard Jorgensen and Carolyn Napoli, call the phenomenenon 'cosuppression'.1986-01-01T00:00:00+0000Thomas, K R, Folger, K R, Capecchi, M R, 'High frequency targeting of genes to specific sites in the mammalian genome,' Cell, 44 (1986), 419–28. 1986-02-14T00:00:00+0000Biologists gathered at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory laid out the first plans for mapping and sequencing the human genome. Among those attending were Walter Gilbert, James Watson and Paul Berg. Many scientists were highly sceptical that such a project was feasible because of the large size of the genome and the time and costs involved. Up to this point scientists had only managed to sequence some viral DNAs which had 100,000 DNA base pairs. The human genome was 10,000 bigger in size. 1986-04-30T00:00:00+0000Greg Winter together with other colleagues from the Laboratory Molecular Biology demonstrate the feasibility of building a new more human-like monoclonal antibody by grafting on to the humab antibody portions of a variable region from a mouse antibody. This reduced the mouse component of the monoclonal antibody to just 5%, making the monoclonal antibody safer and more effective for use in humans. The technique was published in PT Jones, PH Dear, J Foote, MS Neuberger, G Winter, 'Replacing the complementarity-determining regions in a mouse antibody with those from a mouse', Nature, 321 (29 May 1986), 522-5.1986-05-01T00:00:00+0000Hoffmann-LaRoche and Schering-Plough gain FDA permission to market genetically engineered alpha interferon for use as treatment hairy cell leukaemia. The development of interferon rested on the application of both genetic cloning and monoclonal antibodies. 1986-06-04T00:00:00+0000Orthoclone OKT3 (muromonamb0CD3) was approved as an immunosuppressant drug to reduce patients rejection of their kidney transplants. It is a mouse-derived (murine) monoclonal antibody (Muromonab-CD3) that targets a membrane protein on the surface of T cells. OKT3 was first developed in 1979 by Patrick Kung at Ortho Diagnostics as tool to identify different T-cell subsets in humans. It took Kung time to persuade his company to develop the monoclonal antibody as a drug. 1986-06-19T00:00:00+0000White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published its Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology. The aim was to provide a regulatory policy framework to ensure the safety of the public and allowing expansion of biotechnology industry. It was aimed at establishing regulatory jurisdiction and principles for USDA, EPA, FDA, NIH, NSF and OSHA.1986-06-26T00:00:00+0000FDA grants a BLA to Merck & Co. for Recombivax HB, the first recombinant vaccine for hepatitis B. It is seen as a breakthrough because it carries no risk of infecting healthy people,1986-07-23T00:00:00+0000Lipmann was an American biochemist who shared the 1953 Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery of coenzyme A. He made the discovery in 1947 when examining pigeon liver extracts. Coenzyme A is one of the most important substances involved in cellular metabolism. It helps convert amino acids, fatty acids and haemoglobulins into energy.1986-07-24T00:00:00+0000S.A. Rosenberg, P. Spiess, R. Lafreniere, 'A New Approach to the Adoptive Immunotherapy of Cancer with Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes', Science, 233/4770 (1996), 1318-21.1986-09-19T00:00:00+0000An Austrian biochemist, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937 for his discoveries of vitamin C work on the biochemistry of respiration and his discovery of vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle.1986-10-22T00:00:00+0000MT Lotze, AE Chang, CA Seipp, C Simpson, JT Vetto, AS Rosenberg, 'High-dose recombinant interleukin 2 in the treatment of patients with disseminated cancer', JAMA, 256 (1986), 3117-24. 1986-12-12T00:00:00+0000Benesch was a biochemist who co-discovered how haemoglobin transports oxygen during respiration. 1986-12-30T00:00:00+00001987-01-01T00:00:00+0000The research was led by Thierry Boon and Etienne De Plaen at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Belgium1987-01-01T00:00:00+0000J. F. Brunet, J. Denizot, M-F. LLuciani, M. Roux-Dosseto, M. Suzan, M-G. Matte, P. Golstein, 'A new member of the immunoglobulin super- family–CTLA-4', Nature, 328 (1987), 267-70. 1987-01-01T00:00:00+0000The clones were isolated from the blood of melanoma patient with long-term remission following vaccination with irradiated mutagenized autologous tumor cells. M Hein et al, 'Production of stable cytolytic T-cell clones directed against autologous human melanoma', International Journal of Cancer, 39 (1987), 390-96. 1987-03-15T00:00:00+0000Z Dembi et al, 'Transfection of the CD8 gene enhances T-cell recognition', Nature, 326 (1987), 510-11.1987-04-02T00:00:00+0000SA Rosenberg et al, 'A progress report on the treatment of 157 patients with advanced cancer using lymphokine-activated killer cells and interleukin-2 or high-dose interleukin-2 alone', New England Journal of Medicine, 9/316 (1987), 889-97. 1987-04-09T00:00:00+0000
Date Event People Places Sciences
1986First machine developed for automating DNA sequencingHood, Smith, HunkapillerCalifornia Institute of Technology, Applied BiosystemsDNA Sequencing, Genomics
1986Discovery of RNA interference (RNAi)Jorgensen, NapoliAdvanced Genetic SciencesRNA interference
14 Feb 1986Gene targeting technique used to correct defective gene in the chromosome of a mammalian cellThomas, Folger, CapecchiUniversity of UtahGene editing
Apr 1986Plans for sequencing human genome first laid outGilbert, Watson, Berg DNA Sequencing, Genomics
May 1986First humanised monoclonal antibody createdDear, Foote, Jones, Neuberger, WinterLaboratory of Molecular BiologyMonoclonal antibodies, Recombinant DNA
Jun 1986Interferon approved for treating hairy cell leukaemia  Recombinant DNA, Monoclonal antibodies
Jun 1986First monoclonal antibody approved as a drug for use in humansChang, Kung, Gringas, Schlossman, GoldsteinOrtho DiagnosticsMonoclonal antibodies, Transplantation
26 Jun 1986Co-ordinated US regulatory framework esablished for regulating development and introduction of products derived with biotechnology  Regulation
Jul 1986First recombinant vaccine licensed Merck & CoRecombinant DNA, Vaccine
24 Jul 1986Fritz A Lipmann diedLipmannCornell University, Harvard UniversityNutrition
19 Sep 1986Adoptive transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes shown in mice to be 50 to 100 times more effective in therapeutic potency than lymphokine-activated killer cellsRosenberg, Spiess, LafrieniereNational Cancer InstituteAdoptive cell therapy, Cancer immunotherapy, Gene theray
22 Oct 1986Albert Szent-Gyorgyi von Nagyrapolt diedSzent-Gyorgyi Szeged UniversityCell
Dec 1986Anti-tumour responses observed in 3 out of 10 patients given high-doses of Interleukin-2 (IL-2) Rosenberg, Lotze, Chang, Seipp, Simpson, VettoNational Cancer InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology, Adoptive cell therapy
30 Dec 1986Reinhold Benesch diedBeneschColumbia UnivesityBiochemistry
1987First clinical trials of foetal neural cell grafting in patients with Parkinson’s diseaseBjorklund, Lindvall Lund UniversityStem cells
1987 - 1989Scientists lay the foundation for the cloning of human tumour antigens recognised by cytotoxic T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that kills cancer cellsDe Plaen, BoonLudwig Institute for Cancer ResearchImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Jan 1987Jean-Francoise Brunet and colleagues discovered the cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4)Brunet, Denizot, Luciani, Roux-Dosseto, Suzan, Matte, Golstein  
15 Mar 1987First stable human anti-tumour cytotoxic T cell clones isolated and maintained in cultureHerin, Lemoine, Weynants, Vessiere, Van Pel, Knuth, Devos, BoonLudwig InstituteImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
Apr 1987CD8 coreceptor proven to be actively involved in antigen recognition by killer T cellsDembic, Haas, Zamoyska, Parnes, Steinmetz, von BoehmerBasel Institute of ImmunologyImmunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Oncology
9 Apr 1987Successful results reported for trial using the cytokine IL-2 and lymphokine-activated killer cells to treat cancerRosenbergNational Cancer InstituteCancer immunotherapy, Adoptive cell therapy

1986

First machine developed for automating DNA sequencing

1986

Discovery of RNA interference (RNAi)

14 Feb 1986

Gene targeting technique used to correct defective gene in the chromosome of a mammalian cell

14 Feb 1986

Plans for sequencing human genome first laid out

May 1986

First humanised monoclonal antibody created

Jun 1986

Interferon approved for treating hairy cell leukaemia

Jun 1986

First monoclonal antibody approved as a drug for use in humans

26 Jun 1986

Co-ordinated US regulatory framework esablished for regulating development and introduction of products derived with biotechnology

26 Jun 1986

First recombinant vaccine licensed

24 Jul 1986

Fritz A Lipmann died

19 Sep 1986

Adoptive transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes shown in mice to be 50 to 100 times more effective in therapeutic potency than lymphokine-activated killer cells

22 Oct 1986

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi von Nagyrapolt died

Dec 1986

Anti-tumour responses observed in 3 out of 10 patients given high-doses of Interleukin-2 (IL-2)

30 Dec 1986

Reinhold Benesch died

1987

First clinical trials of foetal neural cell grafting in patients with Parkinson’s disease

1987 - 1989

Scientists lay the foundation for the cloning of human tumour antigens recognised by cytotoxic T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that kills cancer cells

Jan 1987

Jean-Francoise Brunet and colleagues discovered the cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4)

15 Mar 1987

First stable human anti-tumour cytotoxic T cell clones isolated and maintained in culture

Apr 1987

CD8 coreceptor proven to be actively involved in antigen recognition by killer T cells

9 Apr 1987

Successful results reported for trial using the cytokine IL-2 and lymphokine-activated killer cells to treat cancer