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Roche Diagnostics' New Marker Mandate

Executive Summary

Roche Diagnostics is the best performing asset at Roche. As the troubled Swiss pharma company suffers through its worst pipeline drought in a decade, Roche Diagnostics is delivering a stellar performance. It is strong across all business segments, from laboratory systems to diabetes to molecular testing. Its challenge: to pull far enough ahead in its traditional businesses to maintain a comfortable lead. Its bigger hurdle, however, is to position itself as a leader in adoption of new genomic and proteomic diagnostic technologies, which is where the industry's future growth lies.

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Advances in Diabetes Management

The goals being touted in the treatment of diabetes are lofty, with the development of a functional and affordable artificial pancreas topping the list of ambitious undertakings in the industry. The pursuit of such a device has been a Holy Grail quest for some time now, and over the years the feasibility of developing a man-made mechanism to take the place of a faulty body organ has been treated with a share of optimism and skepticism. However, based on recent FDA approvals for multiple manufacturers, it appears the industry is closer than it has ever been to making this goal a reality.

Roche's Challenging Biomarker Strategy

Large pharma companies are increasingly interested in using biomarkers to shorten R&D timelines and reduce the risks of developing new drugs. Roche says its recently formalized biomarker program benefits from the firm's unique expertise in diagnostics. But like its competitors embarked on siimilar efforts, Roche won't know the value of this complex undertaking for years.

Roche's Challenging Biomarker Strategy

Large pharma companies are increasingly interested in using biomarkers to shorten R&D timelines and reduce the risks of developing new drugs. Roche says its recently formalized biomarker program benefits from the firm's unique expertise in diagnostics. But like its competitors embarked on siimilar efforts, Roche won't know the value of this complex undertaking for years.

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