F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. was founded at a time when industrial revolution was changing the face of Europe. On October 1, 1896, at the age of 28, Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche launched his company as the successor company to Hoffmann, Traub & Co in Basel, Switzerland. He was among the first to recognise that the industrial manufacture of medicines would be a major advance in the fight against disease. Since then, Roche has grown into one of the world's leading healthcare companies.
Pharmacist Carl Schaerges, the first head of research, together with chemist Emil C. Barell demonstrate the presence of iodine in thyroid extracts. This results in Roche’s first patent and scientific publications. The launch of Aiodin marks the earliest in a series of thyroid preparations by Roche.
Expansion and internationalisation
Roche soon expands its business activities. From 1897 to 1910, the factory in Grenzach, Germany, is enlarged and the lion’s share of manufacturing moves there. Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche and his new partner Carl Meerwein waste little time in building a network of European and overseas agents and subsidiaries. By 1914 Roche has offices in Milan, New York, St. Petersburg, and London, among others.
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