Roche To Invest Rs 33 Cr In A Yr

Mumbai, November 4 | Updated: Nov 5 2003, 05:30am hrs
Roche Scientific Co (I) Pvt Ltd (RSCIPL) plans to invest over 10 million Swiss Francs (roughly Rs 33 crore) in India over the next fiscal year. The investment areas will entail initiating global clinical trials in India, new therapies and extended access programmes, GL Telang, managing director, RSCIPL, said.

An extended access programme is where a molecule which is in an advanced stage of trials internationally, is available for treating Indian patients. The company has plans to introduce Avastin and Valcyte as part of this programme. Dr Telang, however, clarified that the product introduced through this programme may not necessarily be marketed in India.

The company has also announced a reduction of prices in its existing therapies like Xeloda, Mabthera, Cellcept by nearly 25 per cent.

Our decision to further invest in the country and reduce the prices of the therapies, reflects Roches continued commitment to the Indian healthcare community and to innovation in scientific research, Dr Telang said.

Prices for Xeloda has been reduced from Rs 30,000 per bottle to Rs 18,000, while the treatment cost of Mabthera has been brought down to Rs 80,000 from Rs 90-95,000. Cellcept will now cost Rs 16,500 instead of Rs 23,000 and the price of Herceptin has been reduced to Rs 1,00,000 from Rs 1,20,000, Sangita Topiwala, head (planning and development), RSCIPL, said.

The company is also looking at introducing therapies in the areas of dermatology and osteoporosis in India.

Therapies like anti-CMV and treatment of bone metastasis are in the pipeline for India in the coming year, he added. RSPICL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of F.Hoffman - La Roche (FLR) wherein the latter has a research portfolio of 67 projects at various levels from phase I to III.