How Roche CustomBiotech enables the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic

A global pandemic has changed everything, and we are still on the frontline

The last two years have been tumultuous. A virus turned the world on its head and in doing so, revealed areas where we, as a global partner to and diagnostics enterprises fighting this pandemic, can improve in speed and scale. 


The COVID-19 pandemic itself did not come as a surprise. Pandemic preparedness plans existed. Countries already had experience managing local outbreaks of worrisome diseases like Ebola, MERS, and SARS. What caught the world off guard, however, was the sheer speed and magnitude of the crisis.

This health challenge was far bigger than anyone expected, and the prospect of a global population held hostage not only to a virus but to the paralysis of international structures was frightening. Like everywhere else, things changed dramatically at Roche CustomBiotech. Uncertainty made sustained business difficult. However, our mandate was clear: rise to the challenge and stand by our customers at the frontline.

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Creativity, collaboration, and above all, reliability

At Roche, every aspect of how we work was impacted – how we research, how we manufacture, how we communicate, how we collaborate.

As the pandemic intensified, we had to adapt quickly to meet a sudden and unprecedented demand for reagents while keeping every member of our team safe. The problems we faced involved tough decisions but staying true to our long-term customers and partners was paramount.

We found workarounds and invested in streamlining processes. We worked with customers to rapidly scale up production and delivery. Over the course of the year, our production output for high-end raw materials in customer SARS-CoV-2 tests increased several-fold.

In addition, we never stop adapting. As new variants emerge, our reagent performance remains robust. Our investment in manufacturing infrastructure has secured our capacity to quickly respond to fluctuations in demand with an even broader portfolio of raw materials reagents. At the same time, we continue to support our customers with expertise and honesty. 

Our customers know Roche stands for reliability and for doing what is right. Even in challenging times during the pandemic, our teams worked tirelessly to address customer needs. Roche's guiding principles are to be open, honest and transparent because we value a consultative partnership that goes beyond our commercial interests.

Lance Little
Managing Director of Roche Diagnostics in Asia Pacific

Reach out to your regional representative and learn how we can reliably support your manufacturing strategy for SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests or COVID-19 mRNA vaccines
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