Roche invests 215 million Swiss francs in diagnostics facility at Penzberg

RocheRoche is investing 215 million Swiss francs (136 million euros) in research, development and production at its site in Penzberg, near Munich. The money will be used to construct a multi-purpose building for Roche Diagnostics. The new building will house laboratories and production facilities for the Roche Applied Science and Roche Professional Diagnostics business areas. The building will be used by both the Development and Production departments. From about the middle of 2010, the complex will be manufacturing products ranging from biotech constituents for immunodiagnostics and the life-science market through to complete immunodiagnostic test kits. These test kits are used worldwide in diagnostic systems such as COBAS and Elecsys.

"In recent years we have been successful in continuously expanding and marketing our range of immunodiagnostic tests", says Jürgen Schwiezer, CEO of Roche's Diagnostics Division. "We are systematically pushing forward our activities in this interesting growth market by strengthening our capacity and capabilities in the research, development and production of diagnostics constituents and tests. Against this background, the investment marks an important step in enhancing our leading position in the immunodiagnostics segment."

Immunodiagnostics is an important market for Roche, and heterogeneous tests such as the cardiac markers NT-proBNP for acute and chronic heart failure and troponin T for myocardial infarction play a major role. Furthermore, doctors use Roche's immunological tests for a variety of other applications, including checking thyroid function, determining tumour markers, detecting infectious diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, or helping to verify the effectiveness of drug-based therapy.

The new building also marks an investment in expanding Roche Applied Science's production capacity, a reaction by the Roche Group to the sustained growth in demand for research reagents, including LightCycler real-time PCR systems.

The new building will be known as the Diagnostics Operations Complex (DOC) and will have a total floor area of 30,400 square metres. The complex is innovative in design, comprising a central six-storey laboratory building with a basement flanked by two single-storey factory halls for the production units. Additional modules can be added if the need for expansion arises. The new building will accommodate about 120 people.

About Roche
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, and a market leader in virology. It is also active in other major therapeutic areas such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory and metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system. In 2007 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 36.8 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 9.3 billion francs. Roche has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai, and invested over 8 billion Swiss francs in R&D in 2007. Worldwide, the Group employs about 80,000 people. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.roche.com.

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