CHF 86m will be spent on constructing the centre at Roche’s current packaging, quality testing and manufacturing site in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, and approximately CHF 23m more will be invested in infrastructure and site preparation.
“The number of employees in Kaiseraugst increased by 30 percent over the past five years,” Roche spokesperson Štěpán Kráčala told in-Pharmatechnologist.com. “As a result the training needs have risen accordingly and we are now responding to this need.”
The site - which the Pharma Giant describes as an important hub in Roche’s global production and logistics network - currently employs 1,600 staff members. It also houses a centre of expertise for sterile production and a packaging facility that supplies around 130 markets each year.
Kráčala added: “We consider internal training of utmost importance for the professional development of our staff. This new facility in Kaiseraugst will be used for internal staff training purposes. It will also feature high-class labs which will be used for the training of our apprentices.”
Construction will commence in September with completion anticipated by October 2014.
Switzerland is home to a number of Big Pharma who have shown commitment to manufacturing in the landlocked European country of late, even as facilities scale down elsewhere.
In May, Novartis said it was to downsize its Lincoln OTC plant in Nebraska, US with a job reduction of 300 with its Swiss plant in Nyon – once earmarked for closure – picking up on lost product lines and manufacturing volumes.
Services firms like Lonza are also increasing capacity in the country. Earlier this year, the firm announced plans to invest CHF 14m into its high-value manufacturing plant in Visp, doubling its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) capacity, though issues with competition and the strength of the Swiss Franc have led the firm to cut 400 jobs at the site.
This latest investment for Roche is further evidence of commitment to the country where it employs over 11,000 people.
“Roche is strongly committed to Switzerland where our global headquarters is located.” Furthermore, Kráčala continued, “approximately one fourth of our global R&D expenditure of over CHF 8 billion is invested in Switzerland.”