Colleagues of Genentech Inc. co-founder Robert Swanson, who was only 52 when he died last week of brain cancer, remembered him not only as a visionary who helped create the biotech industry, but as someone who was uniquely able to steer the nascent technology through the perils of early development with his management style and penetrating understanding on all levels of business.

Thomas Wiggans, president and CEO of Connetics Corp. (CNCT, Palo Alto, Calif.) and among the many Genentech alumni, said "Swanson could look at a technology and see the formation of an industry." Swanson is credited with the idea of using recombinant DNA technology to develop therapeutics.