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Roche invests in diagnostics in China

Commits 450m Swiss francs to manufacturing facility
Roche Basel Switzerland

Roche plans to invest 450m Swiss francs to build a new diagnostics manufacturing facility in China – its first in the Asia Pacific region.

The new site will be based at Suzhou Industrial Park, in Suzhou, and will focus on producing immunochemistry and clinical chemistry tests.

The plan is for the facility to be fully operational by 2018, with around 600 jobs to be created.

According to Roche, the investment is a response to the growing demand to diagnostics tests in China and Asia Pacific region, where healthcare systems are rapidly evolving and becoming a more attractive prospect for pharma companies.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region for Roche's diagnostics division, with sales increasing by 15% for the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013, reaching 877m Swiss francs.

“Roche is committed to investing in China and the Asia Pacific region,” said Roland Diggelmann, chief operating office of Roche Diagnostics. “The new manufacturing site will enable us to meet the growing demand for our diagnostic products, ensuring our continuous contribution to the health of people in China and the Asia Pacific region.”

Suzhou Industrial Park 

Suzhou Industrial Park in China

The investment is a sign of confidence in the Chinese market after a troubled period for pharma in the country, with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) at the centre of a corruption probe that concluded in September.

GSK was found guilty of encouraging its sales reps to bribe doctors to prescribed drugs and was hit with a  $487m fine, while several senior figures received jail sentences or deportation.

Roche was drawn briefly into the probe in May when officials visited its offices in China but no further action has since been taken.

Roche has made other investments in China in recent years including a collaboration with Chinese-American biotech company Ascletis to help bring its hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapy danoprevir to market in the region.

Article by
Thomas Meek

5th November 2014

From: Sales

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