Roche Holding has opened a new biotech production facility in Basel, Switzerland, where it will manufacture the cancer drug Avastin. Roche also plans to open a new facility in Penzberg, Germany, in July.
The Indian state of Rajasthan is opening three new drug-testing laboratories, in addition to the existing facility in Jaipur. The new labs are expected to significantly reduce the turnaround time for testing random samples of drugs. The Rajasthan State Drug Control Department is also training inspectors to monitor prices under new regulations set by India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority.
The U.S. FDA released pharmaceutical industry guidelines on situations that constitute refusing, limiting, denying or delaying inspection of drug manufacturing facilities worldwide. Drugmakers can issue comments on the guidance until Sept. 30.
Roche Holding said it will dissolve its Applied Science Business Area, which is under its Diagnostics Division. As part of the restructuring, the firm will cut around 110 jobs in Penzberg, Germany, and 60 positions at its Branford, Conn., site. Roche also called off a deal with IBM to develop a nanopore-based sequencing platform.
The promise of stem cell therapy is causing some Indian doctors to give "false hopes of a dramatic cure from stem cells" and charge very high fees. Pharmabiz says the federal health ministry "needs to wake up and act without any further delay" in establishing a national policy for stem cell use.
Roche announced it has bought Therapeutic Human Polyclonals, a California- and Germany-based biotech, to add to its protein research pharma center. Roche said it paid $56.5 million to buy THP, which specializes in human antibody technologies.