Roche establishes external Academic Translational Centre in Zurich

Basel, 07. Dezember 2011

Collaboration with academia for the development of novel medicines and diagnostics

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), together with ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich), the University of Zurich (UZH) and the University Hospital Zurich (USZ) announced today the formation of an external academic translational research hub in Zurich.

Translational medicine is the application of research technologies to patient care. The translational research hub will foster collaborations between Roche and academic researchers from ETH, UZH and USZ in pathology, dermatology, inflammation and potentially other diseases with unmet medical need.

ETH’s recent major investments into the field of molecular health sciences will provide the framework for an assistant professorship studying Ribonculeic Acid (RNA) functions in disease and developing novel RNAbased technologies; UZH and USZ will provide it’s competence in molecular pathology methods and it’s clinical infrastructure for research; and Roche will provide its diagnostic platforms, drugs, as well as jointly developing content for the research projects.

Experts from Roche (Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals) will work alongside scientists from ETH, UZH and USZ to define the projects, with Roche providing initial financial support for 3-6 years. The first projects will include a biomarker survey on oncology drug patients, the development of RNA technology tools and programmes related to pathways and assay development in pathology.

Jean Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development, said: “External collaborations with academic institutions are at the core of our strategy and are fundamental to develop the next generation of treatments in areas of unmet medical need. This partnership brings together high caliber researchers, building on the full range of skills and expertise needed to develop new therapeutic and diagnostic solutions for patients,”

Daniel O’Day, Chief Operating Officer of Roche Diagnostics, said: “The collaboration with the translational research centre is a unique opportunity to leverage the breadth of our diagnostics solutions to deepen our knowledge of disease and advance medical discovery.”

Professor Dr. Roland Siegwart, Vice President Research and Corporate Relations of ETH Zurich, said: “The collaboration combines the expertise of internationally leading partners both from industry and academia. This will enable us to bridge the gap between fundamental research and advanced treatment of patients and to take a leading role in the promising field of personalised medicine. ”

Professor Dr. Gregor B. Zünd, Director of Research and Education at University Hospital Zurich, said: “The goal of personalised cancer medicine is to understand the specific characteristics underlying an individual’s disease and then match therapy to the molecular characteristics of this patient. Our partnership among basic researchers, clinical researchers and Pharma researchers will have a significant economic impact for clinical programs with modern targeted drugs. ” Professor Dr. Daniel Wyler, Vice President Medicine and Science of the University added: "Hochschulmedizin Zürich" was recently founded to promote medical research between UZH, ETH, and USZ and to facilitate industrial collaboration via a single entry point.

About ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich)

ETH Zurich has come to symbolise excellent education, groundbreaking basic research and applied results that are beneficial for society as a whole. Founded in 1855, ETH Zurich has some 17,000 students from approximately 80 countries, 3,800 of whom are doctoral candidates. Today, it offers researchers an inspiring environment and students a comprehensive education as one of the world’s leading universities for technology and the natural sciences. 21 Nobel Laureates have studied, taught or conducted research at ETH Zurich, underscoring the excellent reputation of the institute. More at

About University of Zurich (UZH)

The University of Zurich (UZH) with its seven faculties and over 26,000 enrolled students is Switzerland’s largest university. Founded in the year 1833, UZH was the first university in Europe to be established by a democratic political system; today, the University is one of the foremost institutions of higher learning and research in the German-speaking world. Over 5,000 instructors, 500 of whom are full professors, teach and perform research at one of the 150 UZH departments. As a member of the “League of European Universities” (LERU), the University of Zurich belongs to Europe’s most prestigious research institutions. Numerous distinctions highlight the University’s international renown in the fields of clinical medicine, immunology, genetics, neuroscience and structural biology as well as in economics. To date, the Nobel Prize has been conferred on twelve UZH scholars. More at

About the University Hospital Zurich (USZ)

The University Hospital Zurich has an international reputation as a leading institution for teaching and research in the field of medicine. As one of the first addresses in Switzerland for medical care, research and teaching, the USZ sets standards in medicine. The close affiliation of cutting-edge research at the University Zurich and the University Hospital guarantees the best medical care possible for patients, thereby making significant improvements in diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases. The University Hospital Zurich has more than 8’000 employees and annually 160’000 patients For more information:

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: