Roche CEO Schwan believes diagnostics will be key to success

With half of Roche's late-stage drugs already dependent on diagnostic tests to identify a specific group of patients most likely to respond, it's no wonder that CEO Severin Schwan (photo) believes the day is coming when the majority of the Big Pharma company's portfolio will consist of carefully targeted therapeutics.

"In 10 years we would see half of our portfolio to be targeted therapies. And if anything, I would assume in 20 years this percentage is going to increase," Schwan told Reuters. The CEO added the revolution in molecular biology that's under way is just as important as the time when physicians first started to open up patients to see what was ailing them.

Schwan is in some ways the ideal champion for the growing use of diagnostics in medicine and drug development. He headed Roche's big diagnostics division before taking the helm, and he sees the company's direct involvement in the field as a major advantage.

"We believe that by having it integrated at a very, very early stage, we have a competitive edge," said Schwan.

- here's the story from Reuters