Basel, 24 July, 2008
Statement - Roche has not incorporated "a molecule" into Mircera
Roche would like to correct statements suggesting that the company has incorporated ‘a molecule’ into Mircera to help anti-doping authorities detect its illegal use.
Roche is resolute that it’s ESAs, NeoRecormon and Mircera, should only be used as specified in their product labels for patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Misuse of these products by healthy people could lead to an excessive increase in haemoglobin which may be associated with life-threatening heart problems.
The fact is that Mircera is an innovative molecule that is both functionally and structurally different and it can be differentiated in samples from both naturally occurring erythropoietin and from all other traditional ESA products. Roche has provided samples of Mircera and assay reagents to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to help ensure that WADA laboratories will be able to carry out reliable anti-doping testing.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world’s biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2007 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.8 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.3 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2007. Worldwide, the Group employs about 79,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.roche.com.