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Roche Expands "Tamiflu" Production
Roche (Basel, Switzerland, www.roche.com) has expanded its global manufacturing network for producing its influenza treatment "Tamiflu" (oseltamivir). The company says it has increased capacity by 100 million treatments, which will give it annual capacity to produce up to 400 million treatments by the end of 2006.
"Following our open invitation to third parties last year, we have now identified partners who will allow us to expand the global Tamiflu capacity to as much as 400 million treatments annually by the end of this year," said William M.Burns, CEO Roche Pharma Division, in a company statement. "Of course, the rate at which this capacity is utilized will depend in large part on the future order flow from governments around the world. We are now ahead of demand in meeting the manufacturing challenge, but as a research based company, our role goes beyond this. We are committed to further expanding the knowledge base regarding Tamiflu and the H5N1 virus, but we cannot do this alone and we need to collaborate with third parties moving forward."
Roche's network for Tamiflu will include several Roche sites and more than 15 external contractors. These companies include Albemarle Corporation (Richmond, VA, www.albemarle.com), Ampac Fine Chemicals LLC (Rancho Cordova, CA, www.apfc.com), API Corporation (Tokyo, Japan, www.mitsubishi-api.com), Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland, www.clariant.com), DSM (Heerlen, the Netherlands, www.dsm.com), Fabbrica Italiana SinteticisPA (Italy, www.fisivic.com), Martek Biosciences Corporation (Columbia, MD, www.martekbio.com), Novasep's Dynamit Nobel (Pompey, France, www.novasep.com), PHT International (Charlotte, NC, www.phtchemical.com), PPG Industries (Pittsburgh, PA, www.ppg.com), Sanofi Aventis (Paris, France, en.sanofi-aventis.com), Shaaxni Jiahe Phytochem Co. (Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province, China, www.jiaherb.com), and Siegfried Ltd. (Zofingen, Switzerland, www.siegfried.com)
Roche also is in final stages negotiating a sublicense with a producer in China. It is also evaluating sharing expertise to enable production in Africa. This is in addition to sublicenses for the complete production of oseltamivir that were granted to Hetero Drugs (Hyderabad, India, www.heterodrugs.com) and Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group (Shanghai, China, www.pharm-sh.com.cn) last year.