Roche to invest 240 million Swiss francs in diagnostics production in GermanyM2 Communications
Basel -- New Penzberg production facility will help meet rising demand for diagnostic products
Roche today announced plans to invest over 240 million Swiss francs (more than 200 million euros) in its Penzberg biotechnology centre, near Munich, Germany. The plans call for construction of a new production facility, to be known as Diagnostics Operations Complex II (DOCII). The facility is scheduled to be operational in December 2014 and will create 50 new jobs.
This further investment in the Penzberg site is a response to sustained global demand for the reagents used in immunoassay testing in laboratories and hospitals. Immunoassays play a key role in the diagnosis and management of many diseases, including life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, hepatitis and cancer.
Commenting on the project, Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer of Roche's Diagnostics Division said: 'This investment in meeting global demand for immunoassays is further evidence of the success of our personalised healthcare strategy. Today's diagnostics make it possible to detect and differentiate the causes and triggers of chronic illnesses and acute conditions with greater precision than ever before. Modern diagnostic systems can test blood samples from up to 1000 patients an hour and deliver highly accurate results. Based on laboratory tests, doctors are able to prescribe timely, targeted care for their patients. The new facility will ensure that we can continue to meet the rising demand for reagents.'
DOCII will expand production capacity for diagnostic test and control reagents. The facility will have a total floor area of 26,000 square meters and consist of three structures: a central, six-storey laboratory building with a basement level and two adjacent single-level plant buildings.
Immunoassays enable doctors to detect biomarkers in patients' blood very efficiently and effectively, providing a basis for informed treatment choices. Roche Diagnostics sells almost 100 different tests for its Elecsys clinical laboratory systems. Elecsys is the world's leading platform for heterogeneous immunoassays and Roche's top-selling immunoassay brand. It is also the core technology in Roche's cobas line of fully automated serum work area solutions. Approximately 800 reagents form the basis for the Elecsys menu of immunoassay kits. A single test kit can comprise up to 80 different reagents and other components. Key products include tests for cardiovascular biomarkers such as NT-proBNP (acute and chronic heart failure) and troponin T (heart attack). Doctors also use immunoassays from Roche to test patients' vitamin D levels and thyroid function, assess cancer progression, diagnose preeclampsia during pregnancy, detect infectious diseases like hepatitis and monitor response to drug therapy.
Located in Bavaria, Germany, and with a workforce of nearly 5000 people, Roche Penzberg is the Group's largest European site for biotech research and development (R&D) and production. It is the only Roche site combining R&D and production facilities for both the Pharmaceuticals and the Diagnostics Division. The reagents and pharmaceutical active ingredients produced by biotechnology in Penzberg are made into in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and finished pharmaceuticals at other Roche locations around the globe. The many synergies between Penzberg's Diagnostics and Pharmaceuticals research organisations help promote the Group's global personalised healthcare strategy from the very earliest stages of a research project. New biomarker tests are expected to play a particularly important role in personalised medicine, helping doctors deliver more targeted, safer, more effective care.
Roche Professional Diagnostics (RPD), headquartered in Rotkreuz (Switzerland), is the largest Business Area of Roche Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland), a leading supplier of solutions, instrument systems, tests, software and services that help laboratories deliver reliable results more efficiently and cost-effectively and is worldwide leading in the immunoassays market. RPD is also strengthening its position as a leader in the growing market for point-of-care testing products to support clinical decision-making in doctors' offices, emergency rooms and other primary and specialty care settings. Furthermore, RPD develops laboratory information, workflow and data management solutions as well as connectivity components to maximise laboratory efficiency.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2011, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 42.2 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.
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