In the fall of 1995, GenQuest Inc. was just a concept being developed by Forward Ventures, a La Jolla, Calif., venture fund, for a company focused on functional genomics for cancer. Corixa Corp. was a T cell vaccine company looking for antigens.

"We were intrigued by a number of GenQuest's genes for potential use as antigens," said Mark McDade, COO at Corixa and acting vice president of business development at GenQuest. "We were interested in a license and being GenQuest's first corporate partner."