NUTLEY, NJ (May 17, 2004) – Roche has announced the establishment of the Roche Foundation for Anemia Research (RoFAR), a new charitable organization intended to encourage innovative research in the area of anemia.
Incorporated in Switzerland, the foundation is legally independent from Roche and is guided by a board of trustees, in line with its charter, according to Roche. The foundation is being established with an initial commitment from Roche of 16 million Swiss Francs ($13 million) over the first four years.
“We are committed to improve outcomes for anemia patients,” William M. Burns, head of Roche’s pharmaceutical division, said. “This cannot be addressed by the pharmaceutical industry alone, but needs the collaboration of academia and practicing physicians.” Burns said that Roche currently markets NeoRecormon, an anemia therapy in Europe and is developing CERA, a continuous erythopoiesis receptor activator for global commercialization.
The foundation structure involves eight trustees, from both renal and oncology spheres and a “Scientific Advisory Board.” The board of trustees includes Nathan Levin, U.S. (Chair); James Armitage, U.S.; Charles Herzog,U.S.; Adeera Levin, Canada; Jean Francois Morere, France; Neil Powe, U.S.;Eberhard Ritz, Germany, and Lars Birgerson, U.S.
Established members of academic staff at universities, dialysis centers and research institutes are invited to apply to RoFAR for funding, Roche said. New research in areas associated with the study of anemia related to kidney disease and oncology; anemia of chronic disease; anemia related to congestive heart failure and stroke, and the effects of erythropoetic drugs on endothelium and brain will be considered, the company said.
The first round of awards will be announced at the end of 2004, at the American Society of Hematology Meeting (ASH), Dec. 3-7, in San Diego.Additional information about RoFAR is available at http://www.rofar.org.
Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), based in Nutley, N.J., is the U.S.prescription drug unit of the Roche Group, a research-based health care enterprise.