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November 15, 2018

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A new step in Roche’s patient-oriented strategy

Roche celebrated the inauguration of its first Asia-Pacific manufacturing site for diagnostics at the Suzhou Industrial Park on October 29, reflecting the company’s patient-oriented approach and its strong commitment to China.

The new site is the eighth for Roche Diagnostics worldwide and the first in the Asia-Pacific region, with a total investment of approximately 450 million Swiss francs (US$470 million), in a city promising great potential and a dynamic future in the world’s second-largest economy.

Marco Cairoli and Frank Pitzer, current and former head of Diagnostics Operation Suzhou, told Shanghai Daily how proud they were to have witnessed this major achievement built from scratch in only two and a half years.

Roche has built a solid infrastructure, won strong local support and has vigorously attracted talent to the Suzhou Industrial Park.

The main considerations behind the strategic move to complete the diagnostics value chain in China and provide a long-term sustainable contribution is to meet the health care needs of the APAC region.

The Suzhou site plays a pivotal role under Roche Diagnostics’ umbrella by addressing the growing demand for diagnostic tests in China and ensuring people have access to high-quality diagnostics.

The new site will be fully operational by the end of next month and will be able to ensure a secure supply of over 100 high-quality, clinical chemistry assays and immune assays to labs, hospitals and physicians in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region.

For example, blood samples from patients will be tested and diagnosed by these advanced products. Cutting-edge equipment and technology guarantee the company’s products meet world class standards. Pitzer said the site will bring customers a reliable high-quality supply of products, equal in all aspects to those made in Germany.

Before launching a product in the Chinese market, Roche will first ensure the quality transfer process of all products to ensure its standards and consistency are maintained.

A series of product lines will be transferred from Germany to Suzhou for manufacture, which are expected to come soon into the Chinese market.

The newly set-up R&D center will focus on developing products that meet local needs. To drive the development of innovative products for Chinese patients, the R&D center will work closely with Chinese universities and research institutes, local biotechnology companies and customer representatives.

With more knowledge and technology transformation in the pipeline, the company will further expand its R&D operations and bring more innovative products to the Chinese market.

The Suzhou site will also be a highly energy efficient and sustainably green workplace. Roche has invested heavily to ensure a minimal carbon footprint throughout its whole workflow of material selection, operations and production. With green energy and by conserving natural resources, the new site meets the highest international environmental standards for the long-term benefit of the local community.

The state-of-the-art water treatment and cooling systems have been built in an environmental-friendly way that ensure sustainability. Photo voltaic panels on the roof supply 70 per cent of the energy needs for the administration building.

By winning a platinum certification from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a global standard for green building design, the site shows Roche Diagnostics’ long-term commitment to the environment protection and sustainable growth in China.

As the key enabler to its future business, Roche Diagnostics aims to attract and develop talents by providing a great place to work and offering a world class development program.

The Suzhou site, with a low employee turnover rate, won the operation an award as Best Employer 2017 from the Suzhou Industrial Park, ranking it among the top 20 of over 200 eligible local and multinational companies.

The site consists of nine buildings and occupies about 75,000 square meters. An adjacent 75,000 square meters have been reserved for potential future growth.

“We will continuously develop and enhance our capacities and always seek opportunities to best support the future diagnostic business needs for APAC and China,” said Cairoli, “after all, it is our capabilities that will speak for us.”


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