Roche announces global plan to create 500 jobs

Roche announces global plan to create 500 jobs
Photo: Roche
Swiss drugs company Roche announced on Monday plans to invest 800 million francs ($879 million) to boost production of “biologic medicines” over the next five years at various sites, including Basel.

A 190-million-franc plant in the Swiss city, where the company is headquartered, is expected to create 50 jobs.

All told, Roche said it should create 500 jobs with investments also in facilities in Penzberg, Germany and California.

Biologic medicines are created by biological processes rather than through chemical means and are typically administered via injection or intravenously, the company said.

The Basel plant is to produce antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) products, including its first approved ADC, Kadcyla, and a further eight products in clinical development.

ADC drugs are designed to attach to certain types of cancer cells and deliver chemotherapy directly to them, offering patients a chance to extend their lives with fewer side effects, Roche said.

“Biologic medicines have become an essential part of modern medicine and play an important role in improving the lives of patients,” Daniel Day, chief operating officer of Roche’s pharmaceutical division, said in a statement.

“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.”

As part of the expansion, Roche said it would expand biologic manufacturing capacity at its US operations in Vacaville and Oceanside, California, where a 260-million-franc investment is expected to create 250 jobs.

The company said around 200 jobs would be added at its site in Penzberg, Germany where 350 million francs will be spent to boots manufacturing capacity and refurbish equipment. 

Roche said it employed 82,000 people worldwide in 2012, when it invested more than eight billion francs in research and development. 

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