What began as a small business staffed by only a few scientists has evolved into a vast international research enterprise. The pharmaceutical branch of that enterprise spans three continents and organizes its research around four Discovery and Translational Areas (DTAs)- oncology, neuroscience, cardiovasclar/metabolism and virology. Organizing around these DTAs allows the many scientists in these geographically separate centers to focus on their common vision – to discover novel and innovative therapies to meet medical needs of patients around the world.
During its century-long history, Roche has pioneered major advances in nutrition, disease diagnostics and the development of novel pharmaceuticals. For example, in the 1930s, a Roche scientist, Dr. Otto Isler, was the first to synthesize vitamin E. Also during this decade, Dr. Tadäus Reichstein, a Nobel Prize winner, first synthesized vitamin C and brought his process to Roche. These developments enabled the company to innovate vitamin production methods while making them affordable and accessible to the public at large.
Roche introduced antimicrobials in the 1940s, and in the 1950s, created a breakthrough medicine, Rimifon, that TIME magazine called "the wonder drug" for the scourge of tuberculosis. Late in the 50s, Roche chemist Dr. Leo Sternbach discovered the revolutionary class of compounds called benzodiazepines, including Librium® (chlordaizepoxide HCl) and Valium® (diazepam), ushering in a new age of psychopharmacology. It was Roche, too, that led the way to biotechnology in the 1980s with the first genetically-engineered product to enter human trials, alpha interferon (Roferon®-A).
Following on its success in the 90s—Roche was the first company to introduce a drug in the protease inhibitor class of HIV/AIDS treatments with the launch of Invirase® (saquinavir) and breakthrough anti-rejection pharmaceuticals CellCept® (mycophenolate mofetil) and Zenapax® (daclizumab) sharpened our focus on improving long-term outcomes and enhancing the quality of life of transplant recipients—Roche continued to push the frontiers of medicine forward in the early years of the 21 st century, from the launch of the fusion inhibitor HIV/AIDS drug, Fuzeon® (enfuvirtide) to Tamiflu® (oseltamivir phosphate), the anti-viral medication that's become a cornerstone of influenza treatment, to the once-a-month osteoporosis medicine Boniva® (ibandronate sodium).
For more information on Roche products, access either of these locations this link or http://www.gene.com/medical-professionals/medicines.