Skip to Main Content

About Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.

One of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, Roche sells its products in over 100 countries. Roche's prescription drugs include cancer therapies MabThera/Rituxan and Avastin, Perjeta and Kadcyla for HER2-positive breast cancer, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis drug Esbriet, macular degeneration therapy Lucentis, and Tamiflu, which is used for infectious diseases. The company markets many of its bestsellers through California-based subsidiary Genentech and Japanese affiliate Chugai Pharmaceutical. Roche's diagnostics arm offers clinical lab supplies, genetic tests, diabetes monitoring supplies, and point-of-care diagnostics for health care providers. Roche records among the world's highest pharmaceutical R&D spend annually and generates majority of sales from North America.

Operations

Roche operates in two divisions: Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics.

Its pharmaceuticals division accounts for nearly 80% of annual revenue, with oncology drugs making the largest sales contribution (around 45%). It is also active in neuroscience, infectious diseases, immunology, haemophilia A and ophthalmology.

The smaller, yet faster-growing diagnostics segment, which accounts for over 20% of annual revenue, is a leading maker of in vitro (test tube) clinical diagnostic tests through its professional diagnostics segment; it is also an established provider of diabetes tests and glucose monitors.

Geographic Reach

Roche, based in Basel, Switzerland, generates around 50% of its annual sales in North America and over 20 in Europe. Roche has three independent R&D teams in Switzerland, California, and Japan.

The largest geographic market for Roche's pharma segment is the US. The company also has a solid stance in the Japanese drug market through its 61.2% stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, and it is experiencing growth in Latin America and Asia.

In the Asia/Pacific region, Roche's SPHERE (Scientific Partnership for HER2Testing Excellence) program helps to improve awareness and tests and treats breast and gastric cancers. It operates in a dozen markets: Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Sales and Marketing

Roche's product marketing efforts in the US are conducted through its main US subsidiary, Genentech, which is one of the world's largest biotech companies.

Financial Performance

Note: Growth rates may vary after conversion to US Dollars.

 

In 2019 Roche grew its sales 8% to CHF 61.5 billion due to the growth in both pharmaceuticals and diagnostics businesses.

Net income rose 29% from CHF 10.5 billion in 2018 to CHF 13.5 billion in 2019.

Roche's cash position decreased by CHF 606 million during 2019, ending the year at CHF 6.1 billion. It generated a healthy CHF 22.4 billion in cash from operations. Investing and financing activities used CHF 8.6 billion and CHF 14.2 billion, respectively.

Strategy

Roche has entered into strategic alliances with various companies in order to gain access to potential new products or to utilize other companies to help develop the group's own potential new products. Potential future payments may become due to certain collaboration partners achieving certain milestones as defined in the collaboration agreements.

The group's risk management strategy is to hedge the transaction exposures arising through foreign currency flows or monetary positions held in foreign currencies as well as to generate an appropriate mix of fixed and floating rate exposures. The level of hedging depends on market conditions and business requirements of the group. The group designates a specific interest rate risk management objective to ensure that a predetermined level of its interest rate risk exposure is at a floating rate.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Acquisitions are also key elements in Roche's R&D growth strategy, and have expanded its pharmaceutical segment in focused therapeutic areas.

 

In mid-2020, Roche acquired Stratos Genomics. Stratos Genomics is an early-stage sequencing technology company based in the US. The addition of the acquired company will provide Roche access to its unique chemistry, Sequencing by Expansion (SBX), and is expected to provide the healthcare community an affordable result for multiple targeted clinical applications.

In late 2019 Roche completed the acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, a gene therapy company based on Pennyslvania, for about $4.3 billion. Spark makes an experimental and promising hemophilia treatment which Roche hopes will complement its existing haemophilia treatment, Hemlibra.

Company Background

Roche can trace a direct line back to the foundation in 1896 of F.Hoffmann-La Roche & Co by entrepreneur Fritz Hoffman-La Roche. Pharmacist Carl Schaerges, the first head of research, together with chemist Emil C. Barell, demonstrated the presence of iodine in thyroid extracts. This results in Roche’s first patent and scientific publications. The company became the first to synthetic vitamin C on a mass scale in 1934, and in 1957 developed the benzodiazepines class of tranquilizers. Over the years, Roche has expanded in Switzerland and abroad by making numerous acquisitions, including Genentech in the US for a whopping $46.8 billion.

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc.

150 Clove Rd Ste 88th
Little Falls, NJ 07424-2138
Phone: 1 (973) 890-2268

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Managing Director: Rob Geraerdts
Chief Information Security Off: Manuel Glauser
Senior Vice President: Alain Gscheidle
Employees (This Location): 3,000
Employees (All Locations): 5,027

Major Office Locations

Little Falls, NJ