Foundation-laying ceremony for new R&D building at Roche Basel

RocheAt a ceremony attended by people involved in the project and other guests, the foundation stone was laid for the new Research & Development building at Roche Basel. The project, representing a total investment of approximately 250 million Swiss francs, is an unequivocal expression of the company's commitment to the Basel site. At the new facility, R&D work is to be carried out on solid and liquid dosage forms for new active substances. In addition, supplies of investigational drugs are to be produced for global clinical trials. This new centre of expertise will be of major significance for Roche worldwide.

Matthias M. Baltisberger, Site Head Roche Basel, commented: "The location for an investment is not chosen for sentimental reasons. So an important criterion in selecting the site for this new building has been the constructive cooperation with the local authorities. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the authorities for the consistently open and constructive dialogue, the confidence they showed in our sense of responsibility - in particular for the architectural heritage - and the rapid processing of the planning application."

At the event, a time capsule was interred, containing memorabilia such as a daily newspaper, the current issue of Roche Nachrichten and plans for the new building.

About Building 97
The new building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, will echo the architectural style established at Roche by Otto Salvisberg and thus continue a long-standing approach to new development at the site. Distinctive modern architecture in the Bauhaus tradition has been one of the hallmarks of Roche sites since the beginning of the 20th century. As well as their characteristic clear lines, reflection of the surrounding cityscape and high quality standards, Roche buildings are particularly notable for their transparency and flexibility.

The northern part of Building 97, facing Wettsteinallee, will be 20 metres (5 storeys) high, while the southern part, facing inwards, will be 40 metres (9 storeys) high. Three basement floors are also planned. The construction of one storey will take about 4 weeks. The new building will provide high-quality workspace for around 100 R&D staff. In the planning and execution of the project, great importance is being attached to health, safety and environmental protection aspects. Construction work began in August 2008 and is to be completed in 2010. The facility on Wettsteinallee is expected to come into operation in the third quarter of 2011.

The new R&D building marks the beginning of the redevelopment process along Wettsteinallee. Its architecture is to set the tone for subsequent projects. Roche is committed to ensuring long-term compatibility between the company's site and the cityscape, as well as good relations with the local community.

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