Roche adds manufacturing operation at Nutley to supply clinical trials

Roche adds manufacturing operation at Nutley to supply clinical trials

October 3rd, 2011 // 2:42 pm @

The drug company Roche has revived part of its Nutley campus with a new manufacturing operation designed to produce supplies of compounds being studied as prospective medicines.

The Roche Center of Excellence — as the manufacturing operation will be called — will make dosage forms of potent compounds that are being studied in different phases of development, ranging from pre-clinical safety studies to advanced tests of their efficacy in patients, the company said in a press release yesterday.

“This is a vitally important milestone for the Nutley site and well as pharmaceutical research and early development at Roche,’’ said Waseem Malick, vice president of pharmaceutical and analytical research and development. “It enables continued support of our portfolio (of new drugs) and is another example of Roche’s commitment to Nutley as a major research center.’’

In 2009, the Swiss pharmaceutical company relocated its U.S. headquarters to South San Francisco as part of its takeover of the giant biotech Genentech. More than 1,500 jobs were expected to be lost in Nutley as a result of the move.

Yet, the campus has remained an important center of research for the drug maker, where scientists are working on new medicines to treat cancer, arthritis and diseases affecting the central nervous system. Roche started building its U.S. headquarters in Nutley in 1929.

The new manufacturing operation covers 17,000 square feet — a renovated floor of an existing plant, the company said. It has been equipped with specialized equipment to formulate compounds into tablets, capsules and solutions for use in clinical studies, which are an integral part of the drug development process.

The space also will be used to warehouse chemical ingredients and will contain multipurpose isolation suites used in drug manufacturing.

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