Invitrogen was founded in 1987 by Lyle Turner, Joe Fernandez, and William McConnell and was incorporated in 1989. The company initially found success with its kits for molecular cloning- notably, The Librarian, a kit for making cDNA libraries, and the FastTrack Kit for mRNA isolation from biological samples.
William McConnell left the company in 1989.
In 1999 the company, which had reached sales of $33 million the prior year, went public, with a plan of consolidating biotechnology research boutique suppliers. The company had become quite successful at licensing technologies into its niche market, of cloning and expression, but determined that many niche leaders were not interested in licensing, and M&A needed to be added to the companies set of tools for growth.
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