Roche and its owner families are supporting the Basel Zoo

  • The donation marks the 125th anniversary of Roche in 2021
  • The donation will mainly be used to renovate and extend the aviary
  • Basel Zoo open day in 2023

Basel, 18 August 2021 – The Roche owners, the Hoffmann, Oeri and Duschmalé families, and Roche are donating 20 million Swiss francs to Basel Zoo to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Roche in 2021. The zoo will also receive a bequest from the estate of Luc Hoffmann (1923 - 2016). The "Zolli" will use these funds for the renovation and extension of the aviary, a new walk-in aviary with bald ibises and the construction of the new small-clawed otter enclosure.

"Roche has strong roots in Basel. On the occasion of the company's centenary, we donated the Tinguely-Museum to the City of Basel. We now wish to reaffirm these strong regional roots in commemoration of Roche's 125th anniversary. We are proud to support the Zolli as an institution that plays an important part in the lives of Basel residents of all ages," says Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Roche Board of Directors.

"With our donation to Basel Zoo to mark the 125th anniversary of Roche, we want to highlight the Roche owner families' close ties with the region,” says André Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman of the Roche Board of Directors and spokesman for the shareholder pool. "The idea of sustainability has shaped our company since it was founded in 1896, and the conservation and understanding of endangered species is a special concern of ours as the owner families. We are therefore delighted to be supporting the valuable work of Basel Zoo."

The aviary at Basel Zoo is currently being renovated and extended. Construction has already started on the new enclosure for small-clawed otters. The full enclosure is scheduled to reopen in 2023 and celebrated with an open day. This special day for the residents of Basel will also be made possible by Roche.

"We are very pleased that Roche and the owner families have chosen to mark its 125th anniversary with this incredibly generous donation to the zoo. In line with the donors' wishes, we will use the money for the long-term conservation of endangered species," says Olivier Pagan, Director of Basel Zoo. "I'm looking forward to opening up the new enclosures to the public in Basel at the open day in 2023."

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, as well as growing capabilities in the area of data-driven medical insights help Roche deliver truly personalised healthcare. Roche is working with partners across the healthcare sector to provide the best care for each person.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. In recent years, Roche has invested in genomic profiling and real-world data partnerships and has become an industry-leading partner for medical insights.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the twelfth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2020 employed more than 100,000 people worldwide. In 2020, Roche invested CHF 12.2 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 58.3 billion. 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

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