Creating value through partnerships

At Roche, we have long valued external innovation as a critical component of our R&D strategy. A significant proportion of our sales is driven by products born of research partnerships, and a third of our current pipeline comprises partnered products. Now, more than ever, collaborations are critical to realise the potential of personalised healthcare as well as enhance our pipeline in key disease areas. We have entered exceptional alliances across our therapeutic, diagnostic and technological areas, helping us better understand and leverage complex biology, find new drug candidates, and make best use of a growing volume of genomic and real-world data.

Partnering at Roche builds on our culture, one in which we listen carefully to a potential partner and then creatively structure a collaboration that meets both parties’ needs. Our choice is driven by the search for partners that share our passion for innovative science. We look for first-in-class or best-in-class opportunities that address unmet medical need and have the potential to revolutionise the standard of care. We also keep our fingers on the pulse of emerging science through global alliances with leading academic and entrepreneurial investigators to develop new molecules, invent new research tools and further advance our understanding of disease mechanisms. Whether small or large, we value partnerships equally. Together, we are building a better future with our partners to find medicines that make a real difference to patients.

Our company is a highly esteemed partner within the industry. I consider this to be a strong strategic competitive advantage for our company.
Christoph Franz, Roche Chairman

Here are two examples of partnerships which we believe truly create value:

Joint forces to handle a major public health challenge

This picture shows bacterial cultures on agar plates.
The rising incidence of drug-resistant infections has created an urgent demand for new therapeutic options.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global and continuously raising problem, projected to cause more than 10 million deaths annually by 2050. To address this global challenge, we entered into a private-public partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS).

The strategic alliance with BARDA is a joint cost-and expertise-sharing model which provides significant research funding to develop new antibiotics and accelerate the development of tests to detect specific viral and bacterial infections. We will provide all resources necessary to bring potential new products resulting from the collaboration to the market.

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Fighting cancer using a novel cell engineering technology

This picture shows Armon Sharei, co-founder and CEO of SQZ
Armon Sharei, PhD, co-founder and CEO of SQZ

We also entered into a partnership with SQZ Biotech to develop a cell therapy platform that would empower a patient’s own immune cells to fight a broad range of cancers. The novel approach builds on SQZ’s pioneering technology to engineer B cells and has the potential to overcome many of the shortcomings of current cell-based therapies.

"Roche has a reputation for excellence in oncology and is known to take chances on novel approaches that have huge clinical potential. We can see how our scientific teams complemented one another’s capabilities, which made this partnership the natural choice for advancing our promising cell therapy platform," Armon Sharei, PhD, co-founder and CEO of SQZ comments the collaboration.

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Tags: Science, Innovation