Roche Invests 430 Million Swiss Francs at Sites in Germany and Switzerland Centres for the Research, Development, Production and Filling of Innovative Biopharmaceuticals to be Expanded
BASEL, Swizterland, Jan. 18, 2008--Roche has approved extensive investment plans for its Penzberg, Mannheim and Kaiseraugst sites. Around 280 million Swiss francs will be invested in expanding biotech drug research and development activities at Penzberg. This decision will ensure that the company's own value added chain is exploited to its full potential in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals mainly for oncology applications.
A total of some 150 million francs will be invested at Mannheim and Kaiseraugst in expanding modern syringe filling capacities for drugs such as Mircera, Pegasys or Actemra.
Commenting on the decision, Roche CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Franz B. Humer, said: "After conducting a thorough evaluation of our production sites in many regions of the world and taking on board local business conditions at each, we have decided to make investments at these three sites in Germany and Switzerland. With our biopharmaceuticals heavily in demand, this step will both safeguard and expand production. Investments like this are very much long term in nature and they create hundreds of jobs in and around the company. It is therefore essential that a stable, industry-friendly environment be maintained in the long term".
The decision means that Roche's investment in Pharma production equipment in the last five years has totalled around 1 billion Swiss francs (about 600 million euros) each in Germany and in Switzerland, resulting in the creation ofÂ several hundred new jobs.
The Roche Group - a pioneer in the biotechnology sector
Roche has invested in biotechnology from the outset, identifying important trends and technologies as they have emerged. Research has been pursued in the key areas of genetics, genomics and proteomics, and cutting-edge technologies - monoclonal antibodies, PCR and molecular genetic tests - have been developed to permit the broad application of biotechnology in medicine.
The Roche Group is now a leading supplier of biotechnology-based products for physicians and patients. Medicines and tests taking the patient's individual genetic characteristics into account are already available today.
Today, five of the Group's top ten pharmaceuticals are products of biotechnological research; they account for around 45 per cent of the Pharma Division's total sales. Measured by sales and production capacities of biopharmaceuticals, the Roche Group is the world's leading biotech company.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world's biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics and drugs for cancer and transplantation, a market leader in virology and active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammation, metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2006 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 33.3 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 8.7 billion Swiss francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invests approximately 7 billion Swiss francs a year in R&D. Worldwide, the Group employs about 75,000 people. For further information please visit www.roche.com.