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Roche and Malaria

This section includes information on Roche's strategies to increase access to medicines for Malaria 



Roche donated expertise in both industrial drug development and specifically in malaria drug development to the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) in support of the molecule known as OZ277 or trioxolane 7. It has been announced that this molecule has been successfully used to create an investigational medicine with the potential to be “the most potent and effective” treatment against malaria. 

As a disease, malaria currently kills more than a million people every year.  The development of this potentially life-saving anti-malarial could signify real progress in the treatment of this deadly disease.  Human trials are set to begin next year. 

For further information please go to:


Geneva , 18 May 2003

At the World Economic Forum Headquarters at Cologny,Geneva, Roche, a leading Healthcare Company, being the pharmaceutical partner in the Synthetic Peroxide Project of Medicines for Malaria Venture for three years, handed over the role of the “pharma partner” to Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited,India’s largest pharmaceutical company. Dr René Imhof, Head of Pharma Research at Roche Basel symbolically ‘handed over the baton” to Dr Rashmi Barbhaiya, President R & D of Ranbaxy, in the presence of the members of the Board and the leading Stakeholders of MMV.

The discovery team for this innovative molecule comprised of leading scientists from the University of Nebraska Medical Centre, Monash University and the Swiss Tropical Institute with active participation and support of Roche, working on the MMV’s partnership model, and this project has now advanced to the point where a new antimalarial compound can be proposed for further technical and clinical development.

This Synthetic Peroxide Project, voted "Project of the Year" in 2001 by the Expert Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC), is one of the principal projects in MMV's current portfolio.  Dr J Carl Craft, the Chief Scientific Officer of MMV commented that the drug candidates identified so far were showing outstanding antimalarial activity and superior PK and ADME properties.  Ranbaxy will carry out the development and file anIND(Investigational New Drug), once it has established efficacy and safety in pre-clinical phase.  The new molecule should ensure a short treatment period of 3 days for malaria, and the cost of the product is expected to be much less than the presently used Artemisinin derivatives, using naturally grown artemisia annua plants.

Ranbaxy's R&D strengths in process chemistry, formulation development and other pre-clinical expertise, strong regulatory submission capabilities and cost effectiveness were the key considerations for MMV to partner with the company.

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Christopher Hentschel,CEO, MMV said, “Ranbaxy is the ideal partner to drive this project forward. The company has demonstrated skills and expertise to discover new molecules, and take them through the process of development and also conduct clinical trials to international standards. Their presence in several African countries makes them the right partner for MMV in achieving its mission to DISCOVER, DEVELOP & DELIVER medicines to the disease endemic countries, at affordable cost”.

Dr René Imhof, Head R & D Roche Basel, commented: “We are happy to present the selected candidate from the research collaboration, identified by a highly professional international team of scientists. The compound fulfils all requirements made at the beginning of the project and is expected to be superior in efficacy and tolerability in preclinical testing. We now hand over our role as a pharma partner to Ranbaxy. They will ensure cost effective further development and delivery of this potential new antimalaria medicine”.

Dr. Rashmi Barbhaiya, President, R&D, Ranbaxy Laboratories said “Ranbaxy’s alliance with MMV is a manifestation of its emerging profile as an integrated research player.  I am confident that this venture will help the world gain from Ranbaxy’s research and development skills, as well as allow us to fully leverage our entire span of research and commercial infrastructure.”

Commenting on the development, Mr. D.S. Brar,CEO& Managing Director, Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, said,” Collaborative research is one of the identified growth drivers of Ranbaxy. Developing a new medicine for Malaria affords Ranbaxy an opportunity to provide better health care options in this segment. We are delighted to join hands with MMV in this venture to enhance our social responsibilities cause.”


About Roche

Headquartered inBasel,Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading innovation-driven healthcare groups. Its core businesses are pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is number one in the global diagnostics market, the leading supplier of pharmaceuticals for cancer and a leader in virology and transplantation. As a supplier of products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche employs roughly 62,000 people in 150 countries. The Group has alliances and R&D agreements with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai.


About  Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)

MMV was officially launched on3 November 1999 as a nonprofit foundation dedicated to reducing the burden of malaria in disease endemic countries by discovering new affordable anti-malarials through effective public-private partnership. MMV in its three years of operation is managing a portfolio of over 14 Projects in different stages of Drug Research and Development.

MMV receives funding and support from the following organizations: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ExxonMobil Corporation, Global Forum for Health Research, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations, Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation, Rockefeller Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, United Kingdom Department for International Development, World Bank, World Health Organization, Roll Back Malaria, UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), The Wellcome Trust.

About Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited

Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited,India’s largest pharmaceutical company, manufactures and markets branded generic pharmaceuticals and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients. Ranbaxy’s continued focus on R&D has resulted in several approvals in developed markets and significant progress in New Drug Discovery Research. Ranbaxy's foray into Novel Drug Delivery Systems has led to proprietary "platform technologies" resulting in a number of products under development. The Company is selling its products in over 70 countries and has an expanding international portfolio of affiliates, joint ventures and alliances, ground operations in 25 countries and manufacturing operations in 7 countries.


For more information, please contact:

Paresh Chaudhry

Director Corporate

Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd
No 19,Nehru Place
New Delhi– 110019

Tel (Direct) :+91 26002075
Mobile :      +91 98101-10146
[email protected]
Dr P V Venugopal

Director  (International Operations)

Medicines for Malaria Venture
International Centre Cointrin,
Route de Pré-Bois

Tel :  +41 22 799 4064
Fax : +41 22 799 4061
[email protected]

Dr. Katja Prowald

Head  (Science Communications)
Corporate Communications

F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd
CH-4070 Basel
Bau 21 /17

Tel :  + 41 61 68 84554
Fax : + 41 61 68 82775
[email protected]







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