Jonathan Knowles to retire from Roche at the end of 2009

RocheProf. Jonathan Knowles, Head of Group Research and member of the Corporate Executive Committee of Roche, will retire from Roche at the end of 2009. During 2009, he will facilitate a smooth transition of his responsibilities to Lee Babiss, Head of Pharma Research and Jean-Jacques Garaud, Head of Pharma Development. Jonathan Knowles remains a member of the Roche Executive Committee, the Pharma Strategic Portfolio Committee and a member of the Genentech and Chugai boards.

Jonathan Knowles joined Roche in 1997 as Head of Global Pharma Research after a distinguished career in Academia and ten years in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1998 he became a member of the Corporate Executive Committee. For many years he has been the chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of Genentech and a member of the Board of Chugai. In 2006 he took over his current position as Head of Group Research.

Jonathan Knowles has made a major contribution to the company in focusing Roche on key disease biology areas of high medical need and in driving for an in-depth understanding of molecular pathology of disease. Under his leadership, Roche has built great expertise in exciting new technologies like next generation protein therapeutics and RNAi, and some of these novel medicines are now in clinical trials. He has been instrumental in driving for a seamless Pharma R&D organization and contributed significantly to Roche becoming a leader in personalized healthcare.

Roche would like to thank Jonathan Knowles for his continued contribution through 2009 and already today wishes him all the best for the future.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, and is a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2007 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.8 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.3 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2007. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at