5th July 2016

Roche Diagnostics welcomes HPV primary screening

Roche Diagnostics today (5 July) welcomes Public Health Minister Jane Ellison announcement to introduce Human Papillomavirus (HPV) primary screening in England and called for greater focus on increasing attendance.

Brigitte Fernandes-McAlear, Director, Roche Molecular Solutions said “This is truly exciting news and will transform cervical cancer testing, saving many more lives.  We are looking forward to working with the NHS screening programme to help identify those women most at risk of developing cervical cancer. HPV testing has been at the heart of our research for over 10 years and to see it given prominence alongside existing testing is a landmark moment. We hope this change will encourage many more women to attend screening."

For more details please contact roche@weareICG.com

Notes to editor

  • Cervical cancer forms in the tissues of the cervix. It is the most common cancer in women aged 35 and under.  Around 1,000 women in the UK die every year from cervical cancer and over 3,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease.
  • Cervical screening is intended to detect abnormalities within the cervix that could, if undetected and untreated, develop into cervical cancer. It is estimated that the UK Cervical Screening Programmes save 5,000 lives every year.
  • Cervical cancer is predominantly caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) a very common infection that four out of five sexually active adults will contract at some point in their life-time.
  • The most recent statistics published by the Cervical Screening Programme in England found that at 31 March 2015, the percentage of eligible women (aged 25 to 64) who were recorded as screened adequately within the specified period was 73.5%. This compares with 74.2% at 31 March 2014 and 75.7% at 31 March 2011.

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, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.

In 2014, the Roche Group employed 88,500 people worldwide, invested 8.9 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit roche.com.

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