At the core of what we do

Progress made for patients to improve standards of care in MS, cancer and rare diseases

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Roche reports very strong results in 2019

New products benefit patients and drive the company’s performance

Key figures demonstrate continued business success

In 2019, Roche achieved excellent operating results. I am delighted about the launches of our new cancer medicines Polivy and Rozlytrek, additional indications for Tecentriq and Kadcyla and priority review of risdiplam, our new medicine for a neurological disorder.

author schwan
Severin Schwan CEO Roche Group

We have been committed to limiting our impact on the environment and climate change for many years, proactively seeking new, more sustainable technologies to achieve this goal as well as our business ambitions. Our emphasis on sustainability allows us to expand our business while limiting our ecological footprint.

Read more about climate change on our sustainability page

André Hoffmann on climate change

At a glance

Roche continues driving one of this industry’s best product pipelines. In 2019, we invested about one fifth of the company’s sales to develop new tests and medicines for patients in need of new options. A leader in oncology, we are now also entering new disease areas with very low incidence rates. These include multiple sclerosis, haemophilia and neuroscience disesases.

* CER = Constant Exchange Rates (average full year 2018)

patient story Patient Story

Ike began working with the breast cancer brand team at Roche to highlight what matters to the patient.

youtube play Ike tells us about her work as a patient consultant

New treatment options for patients

Advances in science, technologies and digitalisation allow for new insights in diseases

Accelerating development of medicines

For me the mission is not driven by reducing costs. It is about boldly embracing what science and technology offers us and translating this into amazing advancements for patients. Reduced burden for society and on our resources will mainly be a subsequent outcome. It sounds too good to be true, but it is actually very realistic.

Niko André Global Head of Pharma Development Medical Affairs, Roche

Expedited reviews – new options faster

Breakthrough Therapy Designation is designed to accelerate the development and review of medicines intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions with preliminary evidence that indicates they may demonstrate a substantial improvement over existing therapies. Separate expedited review procedures support efforts making new options available for patients faster.

Innovative approaches in R&D and expedited review procedures make new medicines available for patients much earlier. (*Normal procedure)

Did you know?

The quality of new medicines is of critical importance: of the last twenty medicines that we had approved over the last twenty years, seventeen were first-in-class medicines. With some of our latest innovations we are first-in-class in small-cell lung cancer and in triple-negative breast cancer. Further, we offer the first medicine that can cross the blood-brain barrier to treat a specific type of brain cancer.

patient story Patient Story

Andy found telling his children about his lung cancer was hard. His children were really upset when they first got to hear about his diagnosis.

youtube play Andy talks about his family, see more

Achievements in 2019

Real-world data speed up drug development and approval. The number of new products that we are bringing is accelerating. We have launched two medicines in 2019, a total of 15 since 2012, and are preparing for the launch of another two in 2020. The number of drug candidates in pivotal/late stage clinical development has increased by 50% over the past three years.


NMEs (new molecular entities)


new medicines
launched in 2019

Fast and precise treatment decisions

Next generation laboratory systems support physicians and people affected

Modern diagnostics — efficient, precise and fast

Helping to improve patient outcomes in a rapidly changing healthcare environment is at the core of our efforts. The integrated diagnostic solutions we provide are designed to simplify the complexity that laboratory professionals and healthcare organisations face every day.

Benjamin Lilienfeld International Business Leader Serum Work Area, Roche Diagnostics

In 2019, we significantly expanded our range of assays for the Integrated Core Lab with several launches and approvals. Our broad portfolio, the industry’s most comprehensive, enables clinical decision making and personalised care. We also had important approvals for companion diagnostics in areas such as breast and gastric cancer.

See how the Integrated Core Lab works in this video

Did you know?

Our Global Access Program has had a major positive impact on diagnosing HIV in low- and middle-income countries. Since 2014, over 14 million HIV diagnostic tests have reached 82 countries eligible for access.

In 2019, the programme was expanded to include tests for HIV-1 viral load, HIV-1 and HIV-2 early infant diagnosis, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and HPV.

Read more about our Global Access Program

patient story Patient Story

Andy was told he had ALK positive cancer, a rare genetic mutation, and sometimes difficult to diagnose.

youtube play Listen to Andy talk about his lung cancer diagnosis


We significantly expanded our range of tests with several launches and approvals. Our broad portfolio, the industry’s most comprehensive, enables clinical decision-making and personalised healthcare. In conjunction with a high number of instruments installed globally, this makes us an ideal partner for healthcare providers and industry.


billion tests conducted with Roche products in 2019

100 k

Roche Diagnostics has a total of more than 100'000 instruments installed in laboratories, worldwide

A glimpse into the future

Our integrated diagnostic solutions are designed to meet the challenges of today even as we anticipate the needs of tomorrow. They also simplify the complexity that laboratory professionals and healthcare organisations face every day, helping to improve patient outcomes in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

Patient benefit: benchmark for all we do

Translating progress in science and technology into real treatment benefits for patients

Transforming therapies

We are excited about the acquisition of Spark Therapeutics because we believe that together, Roche and Spark will be able to significantly improve the lives of patients through innovative gene therapies. This acquisition supports our long-lasting commitment to bringing transformational therapies and innovative approaches to people around the world with serious diseases.

Severin Schwan CEO Roche Group

Data sciences to digitally collect, aggregate, curate and make sense of vast quantities of diverse patient data, advanced imaging technology, new scientific insights and groundbreaking technologies are driving the development of novel, highly personalised therapies - in both, Roche’s legacy and new disease areas.

A journey of innovation

To make innovative development of medicines a reality today all the stakeholders in the healthcare system need to work together in new ways, making sure that the digital transformation will yield better patient outcomes.

Roche complements its in-house expertise by a network of partnerships with complementary skill sets and unique technological assets.

Read more about how we work with our partners

patient story Patient Story

I don't think there is a cure for SMA, but scientists could try and develop a medicine that stabilises us. This will be an improvement for those like me.

youtube play Learn more about Victoria - watch the video.


million patients treated


expedited reviews for Roche medicines

Phelophepa — the primary healthcare trains

Reaching people in rural areas of South Africa for 25 years

Proudly renewing our commitment

From humble beginnings with a three-coach train to a state-of-the-art primary healthcare facility on two trains, we are now able to provide comprehensive services to communities which had little or no access to essential healthcare services before.

Thabisile Makhaye Phelophepa Operations Manager

Roche and Transnet, the main freight logistics company in South Africa, came together to establish Phelophepa, the world’s first comprehensive primary healthcare facility on rail. Today, the 19-coach trains each have six clinics on board and are equipped with pharmacies and diagnostic tools for diabetes and cancer screenings, such as breast examinations, cervical and prostate cancer checks.

Did you know?

Phelophepa, meaning “good, clean, health” in local dialects, also runs extensive health education programmes for the local schools, HIV/AIDS and cancer awareness programmes for the surrounding communities, and primary healthcare training for student doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

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Phelophepa also supports the local economy by offering work on the trains in the communities which they visit. This is in addition to the 40 permanent staff members. Phelophepa has received the United Nations Public Service Award for its excellence in public service delivery.


million people reached over 25 years

> 450 k

>450'000 people provided with primary healthcare services in 2019

A glimpse into the future

Roche renewed its support of Phelophepa as the initiative’s main external sponsor, making the 25th anniversary in 2019.

Our people

Employees are committed to bringing about meaningful benefits to lives of patients

Diversity is our strength

Serving patients globally is integral to our mission. One way to further that mission is to assemble teams that reflect the diversity of patients around the world. This involves employees with varied backgrounds, experiences, and ideas working together to create impactful outcomes for all patients.

Levi Garraway Roche Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development

Did you know?

In order to leverage diversity as an engine of innovation, we strive for an inclusive workplace. People from about 90 countries are working at the Roche headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and almost half of them are women. Various employee networks represent family, career, gender and the LGBTQ community.

Read more about how we bring diversity to life

patient story People Story

It is important to me that I can keep contributing to the company’s success with my work, though I have to come to work on a wheelchair due to my MS.

Read more here

“I work in Procurement at Roche Diagnostics in Penzberg and I am responsible for correct invoicing and punctual payment of suppliers. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when I was 16. The disease has progressed gradually and so my team and I have always had the time to adapt to new situations.

At first, I had difficulty in walking but I could still drive to work myself. Then I had to start using a walking frame. For the last few years, I have been using a wheelchair and coming to work by taxi. My colleagues are always supportive—they hold doors open, take my work equipment to meetings and help me to put my coat on. Even push my wheelchair.

Due to MS, my work has changed over the years. Initially, I headed a sub-department within Procurement. I cannot do this job anymore as my disease has progressed. My line managers and I redefine my range of duties if needed. Over time, I come to terms with my new roles more easily. It is important to me that I can keep contributing to the company’s success with my work.“

Marion Knöring works at Roche Diagnostics in Penzberg, Germany

89 %

of employees believe that their work has a positive impact on society

83 %

of employees are happy
to work at Roche


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