Roche to invest CHF800m in global biologics manufacturing

To help meet rising demand for licensed biologics and expected pipeline growth

Swiss pharmaceuticals manufacturer Roche plans to invest CHF800m (€650m; US$880m) within its global manufacturing network to increase production capabilities for its biologic medicines over the next five years.

The investment will be spread across sites in Penzberg (Germany), Basel (Switzerland), as well as the Genentech operations in Vacaville and Oceanside (US). The firm says approximately 500 new jobs will be created alongside the facility expansions.

'As the world’s largest supplier of biologics, Roche is committed to making the necessary investments to ensure ongoing supply of these medicines at the highest quality standards,' said Daniel O’Day, Chief Operating Officer of Roche’s Pharmaceuticals Division.

'Increasing our manufacturing capacity also highlights the confidence we have in the research and development of a range of new biologic medicines that will help serve unmet medical needs.'

The investment will support increasing demand for Roche's licensed biologic medicines, including RoACTEMRA (tocilizumab), Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) and Perjeta (pertuzumab). It will also provide a strong foundation for the delivery of 39 investigational biologic medicines in the Roche pipeline.

Increasing our manufacturing capacity also highlights the confidence we have in the research and development of a range of new biologic medicines

Roche plans to invest around CHF260m to increase biologic manufacturing capacity at Vacaville and Oceanside in California, creating around 250 new jobs.

In Penzberg, Roche will invest approximately CHF350m to increase manufacturing capacity and refurbish equipment, creating around 200 positions.

In addition, the construction of an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) production facility will begin in Basel through an investment of more than CHF190m, which is expected to create 50 jobs. This investment will provide additional capacity and flexibility to support Kadcycla, Roche’s first approved ADC, and a further eight ADCs in clinical development.

Roche is a world leader in biologic medicine manufacturing, with expertise in biotech manufacturing and claims to have the largest biotech production capacity of any company worldwide.

The biologics unit at Roche consists of several manufacturing sites in North America, Europe and Asia, which work as a closely aligned network focused on all aspects of biologic medicine manufacturing and supply. The production of drug product includes the final formulation of the medicine into a sterile liquid or powder that can be filled into a vial, syringe or device, which is then packaged for worldwide distribution.

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