|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (September 2012)|
|Traded as||SIX: ROG, OTCQX: RHHBY|
|Founder(s)||Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche|
|Key people||Severin Schwan (CEO), Franz Humer (Chairman of the board), Pascal Soriot (COO until 2012, pharmaceuticals), Daniel O'Day (COO, diagnostics)|
|Products||Pharmaceuticals and diagnostics (list of products...)|
|Revenue||CHF 42.531 billion (2011)|
|Operating income||CHF 15.149 billion (2011)|
|Profit||CHF 9.544 billion (2011)|
|Total assets||CHF 61.576 billion (2011)|
|Total equity||CHF 14.482 billion (2011)|
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. is a Swiss global health-care company that operates worldwide under two divisions: Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics. Its holding company, Roche Holding AG, has shares listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
The company headquarters are located in Basel and the company has many pharmaceutical and diagnostic sites around the world - including: Nutley, NJ; Pleasanton, CA; Branchburg, NJ; Indianapolis, Indiana; Florence, South Carolina; and Ponce, Puerto Rico in the US; Welwyn Garden City and Burgess Hill in the UK; Clarecastle in Ireland; Mannheim and Penzberg in Germany; Mississauga and Laval in Canada; Shanghai in China; Mumbai & Hyderabad in India; São Paulo, Brazil; Segrate, Milan in Italy; Johannesburg in South Africa; Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan.
The company also owns the American biotechnology company Genentech, which is a wholly owned affiliate, and the Japanese biotechnology company Chugai Pharmaceuticals as well as the Tucson, Arizona based Ventana.
Roche's revenues during fiscal year 2010 were CHF 47.49 billion. Descendants of the founding Hoffmann and Oeri families own slightly over half of the company, with Swiss pharma firm Novartis owning a further third of its shares.
F. Hoffmann-La Roche is a full member of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).
Founded in 1896 by Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, the company was early on known for producing various vitamin preparations and derivatives. In 1934, it became the first company to mass-produce synthetic vitamin C, under the brand name Redoxon. In 1957 it introduced the class of tranquilizers known as benzodiazepines (with Valium and Rohypnol being the best known members). Its acne drug isotretinoin, marketed as Accutane and Roaccutane, also used as a form of chemotherapy for some cancers, has been linked to a number of severe side effects and remains highly controversial. Roche has also produced various HIV tests and antiretroviral drugs. It bought the patents for the polymerase chain reaction technique in 1992. It manufactures and sells several cancer drugs.
In 1982, the United States arm of the company acquired Biomedical Reference Laboratories for US$163.5 million. That company dated from the late 1960s, and was located in Burlington, North Carolina. That year Hoffmann–La Roche then merged it with all of its laboratories, and incorporated the merged company as Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. in Burlington. By the early 1990s, Roche Biomedical became one of the largest clinical laboratory networks in the United States, with 20 major laboratories and US$600 million in sales.
On April 28, 1995 Hoffmann–La Roche sold Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. to National Health Laboratories Holdings Inc. (which then changed its name to Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings). Roche acquired Syntex in 1994 and Chugai Pharmaceuticals in 2002.
On 12 March 2009 Roche agreed to fully acquire Genentech, in which it had held a majority stake since 1990, after 8 months of negotiations. As a result of the Genentech acquisition, Roche closed its Palo Alto based research facilities and moved them to Nutley while the US Headquarters in Nutley was moved to Genentech's facility in South San Francisco. Genentech became a wholly owned subsidiary group of Roche on 25 March 2009.
On 26 June 2012 Roche announces closure of Nutley, NJ site Business operations to cease by end of 2013; site plant to be shut down by end of 2015 As of 28 June 2012 The RocheUSA.com portal for Nutley still indicated that "To maintain our innovative focus, the 127-acre site in New Jersey is expanding its research base and will become one of the largest R&D centers for Roche. Nutley is the center for the Oncology, Inflammation and Virology Discovery and Translational Areas (DTAs). These areas have a rich pipeline comprised of novel first-in-class and best-in-class compounds and have at their disposal the expertise of scientists in Discovery Technologies." But the NYTimes reported on 26 June 2012 that "Roche, the Swiss pharmaceutical company, said Tuesday that it would shut down its site in Nutley, N.J., which served as its American headquarters for 80 years, in an effort to cut costs. About 1,000 jobs would be lost, the company said."
Creation of the first anti-depressant
In 1956, iproniazid was accidentally created during an experiment while synthesizing isoniazid. Originally, it had been intended to create a more efficient drug at combatting Tuberculosis. Iproniazid, however, revealed to have its own benefits; some people felt it made them feel happier. It was withdrawn from the market in the early 1960s due to toxic side-effects.
Drugs produced by Roche include:
- Accutane/Roaccutane (isotretinoin) for severe (nodular) acne vulgaris
- Actemra/RoActemra (tocilizumab) for rheumatoid arthritis
- Anexate (flumazenil) for the reversal of acute benzodiazepine effects
- Avastin (bevacizumab) for certain malignant tumors
- Aurorix (moclobemide) for depression
- Bactrim (trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole), a sulphonamide antibacterial
- Boniva/Bonviva (ibandronic acid) for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
- Cellcept (mycophenolate mofetil) for transplant rejection
- Cymevene (ganciclovir) for cytomegalovirus infection
- Dilatrend (carvedilol) for hypertension and congestive heart failure
- Dalmane/Dalmadorm (flurazepam) for insomnia
- Dormicum (midazolam) for insomnia and procedural sedation and analgesia
- Erivedge (vismodegib) for basal-cell carcinoma
- Fansidar (sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine) for malaria and toxoplasmosis
- Fuzeon (enfuvirtide) for salvage therapy of HIV-1 infection
- Herceptin (trastuzumab) for breast cancer
- Inhibace (cilazapril) for hypertension and congestive heart failure
- Invirase (saquinavir) for HIV-1 infection
- Klonopin/Rivotril (clonazepam) for epilepsy and anxiety disorders
- Kytril (granisetron) for chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Lariam (mefloquine) for malaria (both prevention and treatment)
- Lexotanil (bromazepam) for anxiety disorders
- MabThera (rituximab) for B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (and other hematological malignancies), non-Hodgkin lymphomas and rheumatoid arthritis
- Madopar/Prolopa (levodopa/benserazide) for Parkinson's disease
- Mircera (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta) for anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease
- Neulastim (pegfilgrastim) for neutropenia
- Neupogen (filgrastim) for neutropenia
- Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a) for hepatitis B and C
- Pulmozyme (dornase alfa) for the improvement of pulmonary function in cystic fibrosis
- Soriatane/Neotigason (acitretin) for psoriasis
- Recormon/NeoRecormon (epoetin beta) for anemia
- Rocaltrol (calcitriol) for osteoporosis and hypocalcaemia
- Rocephin (ceftriaxone), a broad-spectruc cephalosporin antibiotic
- Roferon-A (interferon alfa-2a) for some hematological malignancies (hairy cell leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia), certain solid tumors (including Kaposi's sarcoma), genital warts and chronic hepatitis C
- Rohypnol (flunitrazepam) for severe insomnia
- Tamiflu (oseltamivir) for influenza A and B (both treatment and prevention)
- Tarceva (erlotinib) for various cancers
- Valcyte (valganciclovir) for cytomegalovirus infection
- Valium (diazepam) for anxiety disorders, alcohol withdrawal, status epilepticus and other conditions
- Vesanoid (tretinoin) for acute promyelocytic leukemia
- Xeloda (capecitabine) for breast and colorectal cancer
- Xenical (orlistat) for obesity
- Zelboraf (vemurafenib) for late-stage V600E BRAF mutation-positive melanoma
- Zenapax (daclizumab) for the prevention of acute transplant rejection
Diabetes management products produced by Roche under the Accu-Chek brand include Accu-Chek Mobile, Accu-Chek Aviva, Accu-Chek Compact Plus, Accu-Chek Aviva Expert, Accu-Chek Active, Accu-Chek Advantage, Accu-Chek Performa, Accu-Chek Aviva Nano, Accu-Chek Performa Nano blood glucose monitors. Accu-Chek Spirit and Accu-Chek Combo insulin pumps. Accu-Chek 360 and SmartPix diabetes management software.
Vitamin price fixing
Stanley Adams, Roche's World Product Manager in Basel, contacted the European Economic Community in 1973 with evidence that Roche had been breaking antitrust laws, engaging in price fixing and market sharing for vitamins with its competitors. Roche was fined accordingly, but a bungle on the part of the EEC allowed the company to discover that it was Adams who had blown the whistle. He was arrested for unauthorised disclosure — an offence under Swiss law — and imprisoned. His wife, having learnt that he might face decades in jail, committed suicide. Adams was released soon after but arrested again more than once before eventually fleeing to Britain, where he wrote a book about the affair, Roche Versus Adams (London, 1984, ISBN 0-224-02180-X).
In 1999 Roche was the worldwide market leader in vitamins, with a market share of 40%. Between 1990 and 1999, the company continued to participate in an illegal price fixing cartel for vitamins, which also included BASF and Rhone-Poulenc SA. In 1999, Roche pleaded guilty in the United States and paid a US$500 million fine, then the largest fine ever secured in the U.S. The European Commission fined Roche €462 million for the same infraction in 2001, also a record fine at the time.
Roche sold its vitamin business in late 2002 to the Dutch group DSM.
In 1999 the firm plead guilty to participation in a worldwide conspiracy to raise and fix prices for vitamins sold in the USA and globally. Hoffmann-La Roche paid $500 million in criminal fines  to the United States.
Oseltamivir is considered to be the primary antiviral drug used to combat avian influenza, commonly known as the bird flu. Roche is the only drug company authorized to manufacture the drug, which was discovered by Gilead Sciences. Roche purchased the rights to the drug in 1996 and in 2005 settled a royalty dispute, agreeing to pay Gilead tiered royalties of 14-22% of annual net sales.
On 20 October 2005, Hoffmann–La Roche decided to license other companies to manufacture Oseltamivir.
In addition to internal research and development activities F. Hoffmann–La Roche is also involved in publicly funded collaborative research projects, with other industrial and academic partners. One example in the area of non-clinical safety assessment is the InnoMed PredTox. The company is expanding its activities in joint research projects within the framework of the Innovative Medicines Initiative of EFPIA and the European Commission.
Additional key persons
In addition to corporate executive committee members mentioned in the summary information box
- Chief Financial Officer Alan Hippe from ThyssenKrupp
- General Counsel and Head of Corporate Services Dr Gottlieb Keller (1954)
- Head CEO Office, Per-Olof Attinger (1960)
Enlarged Corporate Executive Committee
- Head Pharma Research and Early Development Jean Jacques Garaud
- Head, Pharma Development Hal Barron
- Head of Human Resources Silvia Ayyoubi (1953)
- Head Pharma Partnering Sophie Kornowski-Bonnet
- Head of Roche Diagnostics' business area Diabetes Care Burkhard G. Piper (1961)
- President and CEO, Chugai Osamu Nagayama (1947)
- Secretary to the Corporate Executive Committee, Per-Olof Attinger (1960)
- Hans Conrad Peyer (1996) Roche - A Company History 1896-1996 Basel: Editiones Roche ISBN 3-907770-59-5
- "Annual Report 2011" (PDF). Roche. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
- "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Roche. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- "The Pharmaceutical Industry in Figures - 2008 Edition". European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). p. 49. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- "Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc". FundingUniverse.com.
- Laboratory Corp of America Holdings · 10-Q · For 3/31/95, SECInfo.com, Filed On 5/15/95, SEC File 1-11353, Accession Number 920148-95-11
- Pollack, Andrew (5 February 1990). "Genentech-Roche Deal May Spur Similar Ties". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Bawden, Tom (13 March 2009). "Roche swallows Genentech in third large drugs deal". The Times (London). Archived from the original on 2001-06-12. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- Jucca, Lisa; Cage, Sam (26 March 2009). "Roche completes Genentech buy". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
- ISPE "2011 Facility of the Year Category winners!". Retrieved 2012-06-28.
- "Roche announces closure of Nutley, NJ site". Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- POLLACK, ANDREW (June 26, 2012). "Roche to Shut Former U.S. Headquarters". NY Times. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
- Blowing the final whistle, The Observer, 25 November 2001
- Vitamin Price-Fixing. Quackwatch.org. Retrieved on 2013-11-24.
- Corporate Crime Reporter. Corporate Crime Reporter. Retrieved on 2013-11-24.
- "Roche, Gilead End Tamiflu Feud". Red Herring. November 16, 2005.
- Kher, Unmesh (2005-10-19). "Why Roche Released Tamiflu". Time (Time Inc.). Retrieved 2008-05-22.
- Mattes, William B. (2008). "Public Consortium Efforts in Toxicogenomics". In Mendrick, Donna L.; Mattes, William B. Essential Concepts in Toxicogenomics. Methods in Molecular Biology 460. pp. 221–238. doi:10.1007/978-1-60327-048-9_11. ISBN 978-1-58829-638-2. PMID 18449490.
- "InnoMed PredTox Member Organizations". Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- Innovative Medicines Initiative. "IMI Call Topics 2008". IMI-GB-018v2-24042008-CallTopics.pdf. European Commission. Retrieved 2008-08-25.[dead link]
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