Roche sets up R&D Institute in France to foster collaborative translational research

Basel, 23 June 2011

Focus on creation and expansion of strategic partnerships with leading French academic centers

Roche announced today the launch of a new R&D Institute in France under the lead of the company’s Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) unit. The pRED French R&D Institute will be fully dedicated to collaborative translational research and medicine, with the objective to build in-depth strategic partnerships with leading French academic centers in areas of mutual interest.

The Institute will serve as the single entry-point for academic collaborations in France across multiple disease areas and scientific disciplines: oncology, neurosciences, metabolism, inflammation, virology, translational research and toxicology.

“We are committed to establishing robust collaborations in France, which ranks among the leading nations in life-science research, with internationally recognized experts and a fantastic innovation potential,” comments Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of pRED at Roche." The pRED French R&D Institute will enable us to work hand-in-hand with France’s world-class scientists in a common objective: accelerating the translation of early scientific discoveries into innovative and personalized treatments for patients.”

With the French R&D Institute, Roche adds another piece to its network of external “hubs”, joining academic collaborations established in Singapore, Switzerland with Basel and Geneva, and the Netherlands. Those multidisciplinary collaborative models with multiple investigators and universities aim at more rapidly advancing biomedical research from the lab to the patient.

The pRED French R&D Institute will be managed by a dedicated Roche academic alliances group. This multidisciplinary team will be in charge of building new research networks with leading French academic partners, leveraging their expertise, novel technology platforms and scientific breakthroughs in areas of high unmet medical need.

“Our objective is to accelerate the development of new therapeutic solutions that will benefit to public health – and above all, to the patients,” explains Roche Pharma France CEO Sophie Kornowski-Bonnet. “Through this network of strategic collaborations with best-in-class French academic centers, we, at Roche, intend to leverage the fantastic innovation potential of France and progress towards our mission to deepen our understanding of life sciences.”

About Roche’s innovation strategy

Leveraging external innovation and fostering strategic collaboration with leading academic centers in different parts of the world is a core component of Roche’s global R&D strategy of translating cutting edge science into clinically differentiated medications. By offering unique access to translational and technological capabilities, academic collaborations are expected to enhance and complement Roche’s global R&D network which is based on its own research centers with main sites being located in Basel, Nutley and San Francisco, as well as numerous collaborations with partners in biotech and industry worldwide.

About Roche’s existing R&D collaborations in France

Currently, 48 research programs with best-in-class French public partners are ongoing in key focus areas like oncology, nephrology, virology or Alzheimer’s disease.  Among those are:

  • The Curie Institute, with a project on circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA as predictive biomarkers of chemotherapy efficacy in triple-negative breast cancer.
  • The Pasteur Institute, MIRCEN and ICM, with the development of new CNS imaging markers targeting amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles as new tools for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease .
  • The Pitié-Salpêtrière and Saint-Antoine University Hospitals, Orsay and ICM, with the identification of blood biomarkers reflecting a modification of brain beta-amyloid peptide metabolism for an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • EMBL Grenoble, with a research program on influenza cap binding and endonuclease protein crystallography.
  • The Georges Pompidou European hospital and Necker hospital, with the preclinical/ clinical validation of several new plasma and urinary biomarkers of chronic kidney disease.

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:

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