Genentech (a subsidiary of Roche) and its Genentech Foundation have announced plans to invest more than $12m USD in a range of initiatives designed to mitigate racism and inequity in the life sciences. Via its 2022 Health Equity and Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund​, the company is taking an equity-focused approach to removing barriers patients of color face in healthcare, prioritizing initiatives led by people from those communities.

For this first of a two-part series, Outsourcing-Pharma connected with Rajni Dronamraju (Genentech’s senior director of charitable giving) to talk about the company’s unique approach to giving back. Tomorrow, OSP will discuss the importance of equity in clinical trial participation with one of the fund’s grant recipients.

OSP: Could you please share the ‘elevator description’ of Genentech—who you are, what you do, key capabilities, and what makes you different from other organizations working in this sphere?

RD: Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, was founded over 45 years ago as the first biotechnology company and is dedicated to pursuing groundbreaking science to discover and develop medicines for people with serious and life-threatening diseases. Our transformational discoveries include the first targeted antibody for cancer and the first medicine for primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

We know that deeply rooted inequities, structural racism, and other forms of systemic injustice affect our ability to push the boundaries of science and improve outcomes for all patients. That’s why we invest our philanthropic resources and employee time and talent to foster innovation and advance sustainable solutions to inequities in health care and education. Our giving initiatives, like the Health Equity and Diversity in STEM Innovation Fund, aim to diversify the scientific and medical workforce, advance a more just healthcare system and build local partnerships to ensure our communities thrive.

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