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October 31, 2015

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Roche boosts production facility, R&D in Shanghai

SHANGHAI Roche Pharmaceuticals Ltd yesterday announced that it kicked off the construction of its Roche Pharma Innovation Center in Shanghai with an aim to bolster top-level research and development capabilities.

This milestone event coincided with the 27th annual conference of the International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council (IBLAC) for the Mayor of Shanghai which will be held on Sunday. Dr. Severin Schwan, CEO Roche Group, paid a special visit to Shanghai to participate in the conference and offered his insights from the perspective of the pharmaceutical industry to this vibrant city under innovative spirits apart from attending the inauguration ceremony in the Zhangjiang campus.

The Swiss drug company also announced the completion of its state-of-the-art plant expansion and Infrastructure Centralized Utilities Plant at its Zhangjiang campus in Shanghai after a three-year construction period.

The new manufacturing facility will address Roche’s strong portfolio of medicines based on small molecules that support a high unmet need in China.

The two manufacturing projects Roche inaugurated yesterday have a combined investment of nearly 900 million yuan(US$143 million). Roche started the plant expansion project in 2012 in response to the growing demand for small-molecule products in the Chinese and overseas markets.

“The China market is always an important part of Roche Group’s global strategy. The achievements of Roche Shanghai are inseparable from the rapid development of the Chinese economy and strong support from the Chinese government,” said Dr. Schwan.

“As a key link in Roche’s global production chain, the state-of-the-art plant (Phase II) we inaugurate today will significantly boost production volumes of Roche’s innovative drugs while enhancing the availability of the medicines to Chinese and overseas patients. We are expecting that apart from introducing the global innovative products to China, and the new Innovation Center will also prompt the locally-developed innovative drugs to debut on the global markets and benefit more patients,” said Hong Chow, General Manager of Shanghai Roche Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Roche is the first multinational pharmaceutical company to set up a wholly owned R&D center in Shanghai as early as 2004, which has already trained a group of outstanding interdisciplinary researchers and yielded highly promising new portfolios. The Roche Pharma Innovation Center, which started construction yesterday, has an investment of 860 million yuan.

It is expected to effectively facilitate collaboration between Roche and local research institutions, lure the world’s top research talent to China, constantly develop outstanding innovative drugs for Asian and global patients, address the unmet demand of patents in infectious diseases and enhance its long-term commitment of “R&D in China”. Upon completion, the new center will have an area of 14,000 square meters with 220 modular work areas.

“Based on the purpose of ‘Doing now what patients need next,’ Roche is always committed to introducing world-class technology and bolstering the global competitiveness of Chinese manufacturing,” Hong Chow added.

Another important agenda for Dr. Schwan’s China visit is to attend the 27th annual IBLAC meeting and to offer his advice on the development of Shanghai. It’s the sixth consecutive time that Dr. Schwan has participated in the conference, which highlights the importance of Roche China in its overall growth.

“We believe with the favorable policy environment and solid economic development in Shanghai, the China market will gradually become Roche’s business growth engine, and Roche will also contribute to Shanghai’s economic development,” Dr. Schwan added.

Roche is committed to building Shanghai as its third strategic center globally after San Francisco and Basel in a bid to shore up the whole industry value chain with international standards and promote R&D and innovation throughout the Chinese pharmaceutical industry.


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