Thursday, Jan 9, 1997

Roche and GNE Announce Agreement for Roferon-A

Genentech will market the drug to the U.S. oncology market

Nutley, N.J. and South San Francisco, Calif. -- January 9, 1997 --

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. and Genentech, Inc. (NYSE:GNE) today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Genentech will promote Roche's Roferon®-A (Interferon alfa-2a, recombinant) in the United States for its approved oncology indications. Roferon-A currently is available in the United States for the treatment of several types of cancer, including hairy-cell leukemia, AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma and pH-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia.

The terms of the agreement are confidential.

Roche will continue to market Roferon-A for its newest indication, the treatment of chronic hepatitis C, as part of an existing co-promotion agreement with Gilead Sciences.

"This agreement supports Genentech's efforts to build a strong oncology franchise. Our product pipeline includes several cancer therapies in clinical research, two of which are in late-stage development," said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., Genentech's president and chief executive officer. "By marketing Roferon-A, we will have the opportunity to enhance our knowledge of the oncology market as we move our oncology pipeline products through development."

"Genentech's experience with Roferon-A will help us to maintain our commitment to making the product available to the broadest patient population possible," said Patrick J. Zenner, President and CEO, Hoffman-La Roche. "In addition, the agreement will enable Roche to focus resources on areas where there is immediate critical need, such as the chronic hepatitis C market."

Patents and know-how for Roferon-A were licensed from Genentech to Roche in 1980.

Headquartered in Nutley, NJ, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., is an affiliate of the multinational group of companies headed by Roche Holding Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland. One of the world's leading research-intensive health care companies, Roche has discovered, developed and introduced numerous important prescription pharmaceuticals. In addition, the company is a major provider of diagnostic products and services, as well as vitamins, premixes and other products for human and animal nutrition and health. Recognized for excellence in both biotechnology and traditional chemistry, Roche is also widely known for its current efforts in the research, development and commercialization of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a revolutionary advance in diagnostics and other fields, including biomedical research, forensics and environmental testing.

Genentech, Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets human pharmaceuticals for significant unmet medical needs. Ten of the currently marketed biotechnology products stem from Genentech science, five of which Genentech markets directly in the United States. Genentech is head quartered in South San Francisco, California, and is traded on the New York and Pacific Stock Exchanges under the symbol GNE.

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