Biotech Firm Founded By Ex-Genentech Scientist Thrives

After 15 years at Genentech, scientist Jennie P. Mather was ready to leave. The pioneering biotech company, the oldest in the business, had lost interest in Mather's technique for identifying physical landmarks on the surface of cancer cells that are vulnerable to attack. Her methods, she believed, could provide a shortcut to quickly produce scores of anti-cancer drugs unlike any on the market. So Mather formed a company of her own. Now, five years later, that company, Raven Biotechnologies in San Francisco, has begun testing the first of its drugs in patients with advanced cancers of the stomach, colon and pancreas _ diseases for which there are few if any effective treatments available. It's still too early to tell whether that product, called RAV12, will benefit patients. But it's just the first of a large number of potentially useful cancer treatments from Raven.

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