Roche increases production of Tamiflu component at SC plant - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Roche increases production of Tamiflu component at SC plant

(Florence-AP) April 17, 2006 - Swiss drug maker Roche has increased production of the active ingredient of Tamiflu at its plant east of Florence to meet the threat of a bird flu outbreak among humans.

The rapidly rising demand has been met without additional workers or significant new spending on equipment, however.

Plant general manager Frank Cox says the company rearranged equipment to boost production at the plant. It is one of only two worldwide that make the key Tamiflu chemical.

Company officials said no further expansion of the Florence plant is needed for now. The company's yearly production capacity for Tamiflu has grown to 300 million treatments in January from 18 million treatments in 2003.

Roche has invested $600 million in the Florence plant and employs about 300 people full time.

Updated 6:04pm by Graeme Moore

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