It was only in the early 19th century that the modern medicine seriously began waging a war against the deadly diseases that were destroying human race. Roche, which was one of the first pharmaceutical companies on the face of the earth made a significant contribution in getting those medicines reachable to the public. The biggest achievement of Roche has been the phenomenal discovery of the anti-HIV drug, Saquinavir which reduced the death toll of AIDS victims from 50,000 to 18,000 in just a year. The Swiss company, as of today is the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in the world, with manufacturing units spread across 26 countries in the world.
Fritz-Hoffman La Roche, the ambitious business man belonging to the Hoffman family founded Roche pharmaceuticals in the year 1896. Back then, the company was known solely for production of vitamins, especially for the production of Vitamin C. Eventually, it became popular for the other drugs that it made and introduced into the market for the first time.
The production and the sales of the company however, have taken a severe beating at the time of First World War, with the Russian and German market boycotting it. In the late 1920’s, the company bounced back with the discovery and manufacture of the biogenic amines, recovering its lost market.