Partners wanted: Roche seeking collaborators in cancer immunotherapy
- Roche CEO Severin Schwan says that the company is looking for collaborative research relationships to develop a range of immunooncology-based cancer drugs.
- The competitive landscape for this type of R&D has heated up recently, with companies, such as BMS, Merck and AstraZeneca foraying aggressively into immuno-oncology drug development.
- Roche is the largest cancer drugmaker in the world.
Schwan's invitation to potential collaborators looks like a very proactive move, especially considering the news from mid-January that the Swiss Central Bank had unpegged the Swiss Franc (CHF) from the euro, leading to short-term currency instability.
However, Schwan noted that the idea that Roche's business is negatively affected by the strength of the CHF against the euro is being overestimated. In fact, he maintains that the currency balance has stabilized and points out that more than 80% of Roche's operating costs are incurred outside of Switzerland.
Roche can develop medications on its own and has for many years—but partners are welcome.