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F. Hoffmann–La Roche, Ltd. is a Swiss global health-care company which operates world-wide under two divisions: Roche Pharma and Roche Diagnostics. It belongs to the Roche Holding AG.

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 [1], 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 1976, an accident at a chemical factory in Seveso, Italy owned by a subsidiary of Roche caused a large dioxin contamination.

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.[2]

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.[3] In 1994, Roche acquired Syntex.


Corporate Executive Committee


PR and Lobbying companies

Trade Associations, lobby groups and front groups

Patient Groups, NGO's


  1. Roaccutane Science
  2. Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc.,
  3. Laboratory Corp of America Holdings · 10-Q · For 3/31/95,, Filed On 5/15/95, SEC File 1-11353, Accession Number 920148-95-11
  4. Incisive Health Clients, accessed 25 June 2015.
  5. Register for 1st December 2013 - 28th February 2014 APPC, accessed 24 March 2015