Roche and QB3 team up to launch successful startups

Basel, Switzerland and Seattle, WA, USA, 16 May 2013

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) announced today that they have formed an alliance to identify, fund and support early stage life science startup companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The program, “Collaborative Startups,” is a three-way partnership between industry, QB3, and entrepreneurs, and aims to ensure that startups are optimally structured, operationally efficient, and funded to succeed.

“QB3 has helped create more than 200 life-science startups, but we need to do more,” said Neena Kadaba, PhD, director of industry alliances at QB3. “We need to help these companies focus on the most important technical risks and to raise capital. Forming partnerships between the startup, Roche, and QB3’s seed-stage venture fund when the startup is just getting off the ground achieves both of these goals. The startups will gain invaluable expertise and insights, and Roche and QB3 will have an opportunity to fund risk-reducing experiments for new technologies.”

“We look forward to collaborating with QB3 to further advance promising early stage projects. Collaborations with leading academic institutions are at the core of Roche’s external innovation strategy and are fundamental to develop the next generation of innovative solutions in areas of unmet medical need,” said Zafrira Avnur, PhD Global Head, Academic Collaborations, Roche Partnering.

QB3, with its deep roots in the University of California research community and experience in life science entrepreneurship, will identify candidates for Collaborative Startups. These may emerge from QB3’s five-site incubator network in the Bay Area; QB3 Startup in a Box, a program to incorporate and structure new companies; the annual Bridging the Gap award program, which provides proof-of-concept support to academic scientists; or directly from university laboratories.

If appropriate, candidates will be routed through QB3 Startup in a Box, which coordinates legal support from leading Bay Area law firms as startups incorporate. Candidates will also benefit from membership in the QB3 Accelerator, a program that offers group rates on supplies and services.

After due diligence, Roche and QB3, through its venture arm Mission Bay Capital, will co - invest in candidate startups at the seed stage. Roche may also contribute support in the form of scientific expertise or resources.  Roche and QB3 may also invest in a series A funding round for candidate startups.

About QB3

QB3 is a cooperative effort among private industry and more than 220 scientists at UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. One of four technology institutes created in 2000 by former California Governor Gray Davis, QB3 has a joint mission of supporting science, driving the California economy and transforming scientific research into public good.

Fundamental to the latter two missions are QB3’s efforts to commercialize University of California science by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with industry and supporting innovative entrepreneurs. The effort has led to 54 bioscience startup companies currently in QB3’s incubator network. QB3 also operates Mission Bay Capital, an $11.3M seed-stage venture capital fund  designed to  support UC startups. For more information on QB3, please visit

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, infectious diseases, inflammation, metabolism and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue- based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner 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 2012 Roche had over 82,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit

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