Roche is planning to sink 430 million Swiss Francs ($392 million) into boosting R&D, production and filling of biopharmaceutical products at three sites in Germany and Switzerland.

The group says it has earmarked 280 million CHF for expanding biotech drug R&D activities at Penzberg, to ensure that its “value-added chain is exploited to its full potential in the development and production of biopharmaceuticals mainly for oncology applications”.

And 150 million CHF will go to the Mannheim and Kaiseraugst sites to fund the expansion of modern syringe filling capacities for drugs such as its anaemia drug Mircera (methoxy polyethylene glycol-epoetin beta), the hepatitis B therapy Pegasys (peginterferon alfa) or rheumatoid arthritis treatment Actemra (tocilizumab), the group said.

The move follows a “thorough evaluation” of Roche’s production sites around the world, noted the group’s chief Franz Humer, adding: “With our biopharmaceuticals heavily in demand, this step will both safeguard and expand production.”

“Investments like this are very much long term in nature and they create hundreds of jobs in and around the company”, he stressed.