Rainer Metternich to Head Roche's Small Molecules Research Group

BASEL, Switzerland, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Roche announced today that Rainer Metternich, PhD, has been named Head of Small Molecules Research (SMR), effective immediately. He takes over from Klaus Strein, who will retire from Roche. SMR is a key part of Roche's Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) organization.

As head of SMR, Rainer will lead some 800 scientists across Europe and the US who work in Medicinal Chemistry, Discovery Technologies, Process Research and Formulation. He will oversee the development of SMR's mid- and long-term vision and strategy and guide the group as it applies novel technologies to develop world-class compounds.

A highly seasoned executive, Rainer brings more than two decades of experience in the pharma industry to this position, having worked for Novartis (formerly Sandoz), Schering AG and Merck & Co. Since returning to Europe in 2010, Rainer has been the Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Business Officer with Caprotec Inc., a biotechnology company in Berlin with expertise in chemical proteomics, in Berlin. As well as key expertise across the different drug discovery modalities, his broad therapeutic knowledge spans Infectious Disease, Endocrinology, Immunology, Cardiovascular, Oncology and Neurology.

Rainer holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Philipps University, Marburg, Germany, and completed his Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Chemistry at Harvard University. Well-known and respected in the chemistry community, he belongs to the German and American Chemical Societies as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also affiliated with several leading professional journals and has authored more than 30 publications.

"We are delighted to welcome Rainer to Roche," said Jean-Jacques Garaud, Global Head of pRED. "We're eager to tap into his solid experience and proven ability to promote cross-fertilization between therapeutic areas as well as build collaborative cross-functional partnerships. His outstanding track record across a broad range of modalities related to both small and large molecules and his comprehensive drug discovery expertise make him an ideal fit for this important role in pRED."

Rainer added: "I have great respect for the excellent science Roche is doing in small molecule research as well as its stellar reputation for innovation and leadership in personalized healthcare. I'm keen to get to work and make whatever contributions I can as we explore and embrace novel strategies, processes, and technology platforms that optimize efficiency of drug discovery while ensuring the safety and efficacy of drug candidates."

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs ($8.7B US) in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs ($45.6B US). Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com .