Roche is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, operating in a pharmaceutical and diagnostic capacity in different locations around the world, including Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom. Initially responsible for the creation of synthetic vitamin C, Roche has expanded hugely and is now responsible for the manufacture of a large number of the world's most highly effective medications. Its areas of focus include cancer, viral infections, inflammatory diseases and central nervous disorders.
Roche was founded in 1896 by a man named Fritz Hoffman-La Roche. Its earliest niche was in vitamin preparation, and it became famous in 1934 for being the first company to produce synthetic vitamin C, branded as Redoxon, on a mass scale. By 1957, it had also begun producing benzodiazepines like Valium and Rohypnol. Since then, it has also produced one of the most well-known acne medications, isotretinoin, as well as a number of antiretroviral medications and HIV tests.
Since its launch, Roche has continued to expand, acquiring other pharmaceutical arms and companies such as Genentech and Biomedical Reference Laboratories. It is now one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
To find out more about the history of Roche, you can visit their website.
Roche focuses its research primarily on oncology, but also dedicates much of its resources on inflammation/immunology, virology, neuroscience and metabolic diseases. Two of its most well-known medications are Tamiflu and Xenical. Tamiflu is a prescription medication that is frequently prescribed to treat and prevent influenza. Xenical is the only prescription treatment in the world that is available to help people who are classified as obese to lose weight safely and effectively.
Roche described the previous year, 2011, as a "landmark" year for the company, during which they launched new medications and tests and developed potential new treatments for the future. They are committed to developing a future of Personalised Healthcare, where medicine is customised and fitted to different groups of patients.