Roche Diagnostics Corporation relies on science, not stars, to make its predictions. The US arm of Roche's global diagnostics division, the firm makes and sells a variety of products for consumers, researchers, and health care providers. Its Roche Professional Diagnostics unit offers analytical systems for clinical labs, including assays and reagents; it also sells point-of-care tests used in doctor's offices and ambulances. The Accu-Chek product line is held by the Roche Diabetes Care division and includes glucose monitors and condition management systems. Other operations include Roche Molecular Diagnostics (DNA analysis), Roche Tissue Diagnostics (cancer), and Roche Applied Science (gene sequencing).
Accounting for about 20% of annual sales, the global diagnostics division is not Roche's largest business segment (pharmaceutical sales account for more than half of the parent company's revenues), but it is a steadily growing contributor to the parent company's revenues. Within the Roche Diagnostics division, Professional Diagnostics and Diabetes Care are the oldest and largest operating segments; the company has also established a solid presence in a number of fields outside of traditional diagnostics through its smaller divisions.
Roche Diagnostics Corporation's main Indianapolis location is the North American headquarters for Roche's diagnostic operations. The company has other locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Wisconsin, as well as Puerto Rico and Canada. Swiss parent Roche Holding has additional diagnostic subsidiaries scattered around the globe, with a majority of sales being conducted in Europe and North America.
Roche Holdings has expanded Roche Professional Diagnostics -- the largest diagnostics division -- through acquisitions, including the 2011 purchase of fellow in vitro diagnostic test and equipment maker PVT. The purchase added automated sample processing devices for large-volume labs, some of which it already sold through a distribution agreement with PVT. Headquartered in Switzerland, the Professional Diagnostics division conducts internal R&D efforts that result in regular upgrade launches for existing equipment, as well as the development of new testing assays for additional health conditions. In 2012, for instance, the division launched a new automated laboratory system to improve hospital testing capacity and processing rates; the system combines Roche's new cobas 8000 modular analyzer with a modular pre-analytics sample handling system developed in partnership with Hitachi High-Technologies.
Roche Diagnostics is also expanding its second largest division, Germany-based Roche Diabetes Care, which makes insulin delivery pumps and diabetes diagnostics and monitoring products. The unit regularly seeks to better serve its customers by expanding its product offerings and improving its products' accuracy and usability. In 2012 the unit launched a new software system that allows hospitals to automatically load patients' blood glucose results into their electronic health record (EHR) systems.
In the high-growth field of gene-based testing, Roche Molecular Diagnostics (which has its global headquarters in California) develops a variety of screening tools such as blood supply screening kits and HIV and hepatitis tests based on DNA analysis. The unit is also focused on developing and commercializing companion (or personalized) diagnostic products, which help doctors determine how a patient's genetic make-up will affect how that person will respond to drugs or other forms of treatment. The division is a leader in the molecular diagnostics field and has launched a broad line of DNA-based tests for disease detection and companion diagnostic purposes. For instance in 2011, when Roche Holdings gained FDA approval for melanoma treatment Zelboraf, Roche Molecular Diagnostics also gained approval for the companion test that identifies patients eligible for Zelboraf treatment (those that have the genetic mutation that responds to the drug).
The company's R&D and acquisition growth strategies are not left behind with the its other (smaller) gene-based division, the Roche Applied Science unit (based in Germany). The division, which provides DNA sequencing products for life science and pharmaceutical researchers, has been the subject of aggressive growth efforts in recent years. It would have grown exponentially had Roche's efforts to take over research equipment maker Illumina in 2012 proven successful. However, after Illumina rejected Roche's $5.7 billion and $6.7 billion offers, Roche dropped its takeover attempts. The purchase would also have enhanced Roche Diagnostics' molecular diagnostics operations.
The Roche Tissue Diagnostics, which is primarily made up of Arizona-based subsidiary Ventana Medical Systems, develops systems that analyze human tissue for the diagnosis of cancers and other diseases. The Tissue Diagnostics unit is working to expand its offering of diagnostic probes; it is also working to develop companion diagnostic tests. In addition to growth through acquisitions, Ventana launches new product offerings through internal R&D efforts and partnerships, such as its Vantage workflow management system for faster tissue sample processing and its HER2 companion diagnostic test for breast cancer (both launched in 2011).