Roche sees new Shanghai center one of its hubs

Updated: 2011-04-15 07:39

By Wang Hongyi (China Daily)

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SHANGHAI - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Group said that it will make Shanghai its third strategic operations center in the world, after Basel, Switzerland, and San Francisco in the United States.

The company announced completion of the Roche Shanghai expansion (RoSE) project at Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in the city's Pudong New Area on Thursday, another major step since its Asia-Pacific headquarters moved to the city in 2009.

With a total investment of 67 million Swiss francs ($75 million), the expansion project, which began in November 2008, comprises two new office buildings, a quality-control center and warehouses.

The project aims to improve office space and production facilities for the pharmaceutical company and will also support Roche China in its strategic role in the global market, said Franz Humer, chairman of Roche Group.

"The Chinese market has always been a priority of Roche's global strategy. We hope that the completion of the expansion project will deepen our cooperation with China, and bring greater benefit to patients in China and the Asia-Pacific region," he said.

China is expected to become the world's third-largest pharmaceutical market as early as this year, according to a report by IMS Health, an international company that supplies the pharmaceutical industry with sales data and consulting services. Roche has estimated the Chinese market will become its third-largest by 2015, after the US and Japan.

Roche estimated that within two or three years, 50 to 60 percent of its sales growth will come from emerging markets, and China will account for a significant part of that."Roche will continue to introduce the world's leading pharmaceutical expertise, experience and technology to China," Humer said.

The company also announced on Thursday that Roche Pharma China has obtained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to export China-made Xeloda (Capecitabine, a drug used in the treatment of metastatic breast and colorectal cancers) to the US.

The company said 50 percent of the Xeloda made in China will be exported to the European Union and the US in 2011. "Such approvals demonstrate that Roche China exercises strict quality control by international standards in pharmaceutical production, and it now becomes an important part of Roche's global supply chain," said Penny Wan, general manager of Shanghai Roche Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.

"Roche China will continue to drive the international competitiveness of its products made in China, thereby upgrading the entire Chinese pharmaceutical industry chain," he added.

China Daily


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