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Protogene was the first company to commercialize highly parallel array DNA synthesis. Its first product, low cost custom primers for PCR, led the industry from DNA prices over $2.00 per base down to less than $0.50. In the process Protogene became the world’s largest manufacturer of custom DNA. After a high value sale of that product to its marketing partner (now Life Technologies, Inc.), Protogene became one of the pioneers in the emerging DNA chip market, being the first company to commercialize on chip synthesis of DNA oligos using ink jet printing devices.

Dr. Molinari, as founding CEO, partnered with two scientific founders out of the Stanford Medical School in 1994 to found Protogene, Inc. Recognizing the importance of speed to market, Dr. Molinari negotiated a sales and marketing agreement with Life Technologies, Inc., then the leader in molecular biology reagent supplies but without a source of custom DNA, and grew the business at a monthly growth rate of 25% per month for 18 months following first product introduction. He also negotiated the high value sale of the custom DNA business to Life Technologies, and created a spin out of the deal in which Protogene continued to develop its DNA chip technology. In 2000, Dr. Molinari left Protogene and joined MedStars to focus on early stage, biotech company development.

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