Roche establishes new medical research hub in Singapore

RocheRoche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) will enter into a strategic alliance with Singapore's scientific and medical institutions to set up a major new translational research hub in Singapore. This "Hub for Translational Medicine" aims to enhance the understanding of how scientific advances from preclinical research can be transferred in practice to patients. Bringing together world-class expertise from Singapore's scientific and medical research institutions with Roche's significant capability in translational medicine and clinical development, this new centre will focus on expanding knowledge of disease biology to develop new personalised treatment approaches.

With an investment of 100 million Swiss Francs, the Hub for Translational Medicine will initially employ around 30 leading scientists. A joint steering committee consisting of members from Roche and the Singapore institutes will define the strategic direction of the alliance and oversee its research projects.

"Singapore's research institutions offer outstanding scientific excellence combined with state-of-the-art translational medicine facilities," said Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development. "The powerful combination of intellectual and technological capabilities together with outstanding government commitment at the heart of this collaboration will provide a unique opportunity to drive personalised healthcare."

"We are delighted that Roche has chosen to work with Singapore in this pioneering public-private partnership that leverages on our network of biomedical sciences research institutes and academic medical centres. This collaboration will enable Roche to conduct multidisciplinary studies and generate important insights in disease biology to accelerate the drug discovery and development process," said Dr Beh Swan Gin, Managing Director, Singapore Economic Development Board.

The Roche-Singapore Hub for Translational Medicine has the potential of setting new standards in developing strategies for drug development and personalizing healthcare. The integrated disciplines and groups are expected to generate benefits for all parties involved and to provide a huge potential for novel scientific expertise and intellectual property to be generated in both therapeutic and diagnostic research and development.

"Leveraging Singapore's close-knit research community and clinical research infrastructure, companies are well-positioned to develop cost-effective, efficacious therapies more quickly for Asia and global markets. Within just one decade, Singapore has emerged as a key partner for leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies that seek to accelerate drug discovery in Asia," said Professor Edward Holmes, Chairman, National Medical Research Council, Singapore.

"We are proud to partner Roche's new Hub for Translational Medicine in Singapore. Roche's decision to collaborate with Singapore's research institutes attests to the strong core biomedical research capabilities present here and reflects the attractiveness of Singapore as a choice biomedical research hub for impactful industry collaborations." said Sir George Radda, Chairman, Biomedical Research Council, Agency for Science, Research and Technology (A*STAR), Singapore.

Scientific and Medical Institutions involved:
AGENCY FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH (A*STAR). A*STAR is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and seven consortia & centres, which are located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis, as well as their immediate vicinity. A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners. For more information, please visit A*STAR's website at http://www.a-star.edu.sg.

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE (NUS) is a leading research-intensive university centred in Asia. Ranked in the top 30 worldwide, NUS offers a global approach to education and research, with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. NUS has three Research Centres of Excellence and 22 university-level research institutes and centres. It also shares a close affiliation with 16 national-level research institutes and centres. Research activities are world class, and NUS is well-known for its research strengths in engineering, life sciences, medicine, social sciences, natural sciences and at the intersection of these disciplines to address issues such as ageing and sustainability. For more information, please visit: www.nus.edu.sg. The Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) was established in 2005 as a strategic collaboration between the Duke University School of Medicine, located in N. Carolina, USA and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Duke-NUS offers a graduate entry, 4-year medical training programme based on the unique Duke model of education, with one year dedicated to independent study and research projects of a basic science or clinical nature. The first batch of students started term on 1 August 2007. As a player in Singapore's biomedical community, Duke-NUS has identified five Signature Research Programmes: Cancer & Stem Cell Biology, Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders, and Health Services and Systems Research.

The NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (NUH) is a tertiary specialist hospital that provides advanced, leading-edge health care. As a university hospital and major referral centre, it also manages two national disease centers, the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) and the National University Heart Centre, Singapore (NUHCS). NUH is unified under a common governance with the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the Faculty of Dentistry and the Alice Lee Center for Nursing Studies as the National University Health System, one of Singapore's pioneer academic health centers.

NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY (NTU) is a research intensive university ranked among the top 100 universities. As Singapore’s main science and technology university, NTU makes significant contributions to the nation's renewed drive for research and innovation, with knowledge, expertise and experience in research and development activities relating to science (including biomedical and biotechnological science), engineering and technology.

NATIONAL HEALTHCARE GROUP (NHG) has more than 9,000 staff and is a leading public healthcare provider in Singapore, renowned for the quality of its medical expertise and facilities, at home and abroad. NHG unites an extensive network of primary healthcare polyclinics, acute and tertiary hospitals and specialty centres to provide holistic yet affordable care to our patients. Together, we bring a rich legacy of over 340 years of medical expertise to our philosophy of patient-centred care. Members of NHG include: Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Institute of Mental Health, National Skin Centre, Johns Hopkins Singapore International Medical Centre, the NHGP chain of nine polyclinics, NHG Eye Institute, and the following business divisions - NHG College, NHG Diagnostics, Primary Care Academy, NHG Health-for-Life, NHG Pharmacy, NHG 1-Health, Singapore Footcare Centre and Energhy.

SINGAPORE HEALTH SERVICES PTE LTD (SingHealth), Singapore's largest healthcare provider, is a group of public healthcare institutions that offers integrated, multi-disciplinary medical care, while pursuing cutting-edge research and education to build an Academic Medical Centre with Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. The group's key research strengths currently focus on oncology, ophthalmology and cardiology, supported by advanced research facilities. It includes three JCI-accredited hospitals, Singapore General Hospital - Singapore's flagship and largest tertiary acute hospital and national referral centre, KK Women's and Children's Hospital - the country's major tertiary referral centre for women and children, and Changi General Hospital - a regional hospital providing integrated healthcare to residents in the East of the country; (b) the 5 national specialty centres for cancer, heart, eye, neurosciences, and dental care; and (c) a network of primary care clinics.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2008, Roche had over 80'000 employees worldwide and invested almost 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.6 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.

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