The headquarters are in Basel and the company has many sites around the world. It owns a majority of the American biotechnology company Genentech and the Japanese biotechnology company Chugai Pharmaceuticals.
Descendants of the founding Hoffmann and Oeri families own half of the company. Swiss pharma company Novartis owns 33% of the company (as of 2005).
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, has also been used as a form of chemotherapy for some cancers , has been linked with a number of very 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. In 1994, Roche acquired Syntex.
- Severin Schwan (CEO)
- William M. Burns (CEO of pharmaceuticals division)
- Jonathan Knowles (Director of Research)
- Chief Financial Officer Dr Erich Hunziker (1953)
- Corporate Services and Human Resources Dr Gottlieb Keller (1954)
Corporate Executive Committee
- Head Global Pharma Development Eduard E. Holdener (1945)
- Head Pharma Partnering Peter Hug (1958)
- Head of Roche Diagnostics' business area Diabetes Care Burkhard G. Piper (1961)
- Head Global Corporate Communications Rolf D. Schläpfer (1956)
- Head of Commercial Operations Pharma Pascal Soriot (1959)
- President and CEO, Chugai Osamu Nagayama (1947)
PR and Lobbying companies
- Pagoda Public Relations - Roche Diagnostics Ltd
- Grayling 2004 -Roche UK, Roche
- Grayling Political Strategy, UK Client 2004 Roche
- Hill and Knowlton 2004 Roche
- Edelman UK 2004-05 - Roche Diagnostics
- GPC International UK Client 2004 - Roche Diagnostics
- APCO UK client 2004 Roche Products Ltd
- Fleishman-Hillard UK 2004, 2005 Roche Diagnostics - Europe, Roche Diagnostics
- Ketchum 2004 - Roche Roche Pharma Roche UK
- Burson-Marsteller UK Client, 2004 Roche
- Cohn and Wolfe, 2004 EHoffman-La Roche Roche Consumer Health
- Counsel Public Relations 2004 Roche Roche projects
- Lexis Public Relations 2004 - Roche
- Manning Selvage and Lee, 2004 - Roche
- Shire Health PR 2004 - Roche
- Chandler Chicco Agency
- AS Biss 2005 - F Hoffman – La Roche Ltd Roche Diagnostics Limited Roche Products Limited
- Echo Research Hoffman-La Roche,
- Business Insights - Hoffman La Roche Roche
- Innovex 2008, Sales rep provider
- FischerAppelt Kommunikation - Roche Diagnostics Roche Diagnostics
Trade Associations, lobby groups and front groups
- British Nutrition Foundation
- European Round Table of Industrialists - Franz Humer - F. Hoffmann-La Roche
- International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations Dr. Franz B. Humer of F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America - Hoffmann-La Roche
Patient Groups, NGO's
- Rarer Cancers Forum Roche An unrestricted grant
- National Obesity Forum Orlistat is manufactured by Roche Products Ltd and GlaxoSmithKline UK Ltd Roche Products Ltd were also listed a donor.
- Men's Health Forum Roche Diagnostics £25,000 Roche Products £91,000
- International Obesity Taskforce Roche Pharmaceuticals
- Association for the Study of Obesity The main sponsors named in the accounts are: Roche, Abbot Sanofi-Aventis, Unilever.
- European Men's Health Forum - Roche
- Cancerbackup Roche, the manufacturers of the breast cancer drug Herceptin
- Roaccutane Science
- 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