Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry seven years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof, have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Key dates 

1896: F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. is founded in Basel, Switzerland.

1914: Roche goes global with offices in Milan, New York, St Petersburg and London.

1919: The company goes public.

1920: Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche dies and Emil C Barell assumes the role of president.

1928: Nutley, New Jersey, becomes the site of the company's U.S. headquarters; and company interests are transferred to Sapac, a Canadian holding company. 

1938: Roche has 35 branches in all five continents with a staff complement of about 1800.

1952: Rimifon, the first effective treatment for tuberculosis, is introduced.

1960: The company introduces Librium, a benzodiazepine tranquilizer that relieves tension without causing apathy. 

1963: The company introduces Valium. 

1973: Roche launches Madopar, the first significant success in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

1986: The company releases Roferon-A, a treatment for rare forms of cancer. 

1999: Roche inaugurates a new R&D facility in Basel. 

2007: Roche focuses on Personalised Healthcare.