Manufacturing powerhouse Roche is doubling down on its small molecule manufacturing with investments of $134.6m in two facilities in Basel, Switzerland.
The company said $95.4m will go to a new facility for chemically manufactured medicines, which is expected to open in Q3 of 2016.
Roche will also spend $39.3m on expanding and refitting a current manufacturing unit in Switzerland to produce already marketed drugs and treatments. This facility should be ready next June, Roche said.
The investment follows the company’s move in October when Roche said it would spend $208m to create an ADC (antibody drug conjugate) plant in Switzerland for its approved drug Kadcyla, as well eight other ADCs in its pipeline. That facility will be about 15,000 square meters and house two ADC production lines.
More than $1B in investments
The ADC plant is part of an $880m manufacturing budget for the next five years, which the company expects will create 500 jobs. In addition to the ADC plant in Switzerland, the company has vowed to expand plants in the US and Germany.
For the US facilities in Vacaville and Oceanside, California, Roche said it would spend $285.9m to expand biologic manufacturing capacity and add about 250 jobs. Another $384.9m will be devoted to its facility in Penzberg, Germany, where it’s expected about 250 jobs will be added.
The company explains that the manufacturing of biologic medicines consists of two operations: the production of drug substance and drug product. Drug substances use genetically modified cells to serve as mini-factories that can manufacture the appropriate proteins. The production of drug product includes the final formulation of the medicine into a sterile liquid or powder that can be filled into a vial, syringe or device.
Matthias M. Baltisberger, Head of Basel/Kaiseraugst Site, commenting on the most recent investments, said: "This investment is an important step for our future. In developing these two new facilities, we are enhancing the site's appeal and continuing to provide jobs for highly skilled technicians, scientists, engineers and quality specialists."