Roche licenses China firm to produce Tamiflu
Updated: 2005-12-12 19:57
Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG said Monday it has
chosen 12 potential partners for the production of Tamiflu and granted one
sublicense for the antiviral drug to Shanghai Pharmaceutical.
The Swiss pharmaceutical giant
Roche said it had reached a sublicensing deal for production of its
flagship anti-influenza drug Tamiflu in China with Shanghai Pharmaceutical
Roche said it will grant Shanghai Pharmaceutical rights for the overall
production of Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, for use in China.
"They are allowed to and they will produce the drug from the beginning to the
end," said Piller.
Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group also announced the licensing agreement Monday
at its website Monday, saying "Roche and Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group have
signed the first sub-licensing agreement for the overall production of
oseltamivir for pandemic use in China."
An official with the Shanghai Pharmaceutical Group said its products will not
bear the name of "Tamiflu", but the ingredients and quality will be the same
with Tamiflu produced by Roche.
He said the group aims to form a monthly production capacity of 200,000
treatments in six months in the first step.
According to the official, the group made the request to produce and sell
Tamiflu under a sub-license in November.
The announcement said Roche is
also "in negotiations for local partnerships in other countries."
Roche said it compiled the shortlist of potential partners, which it did not
identify, after evaluating around 200 applicants interested in helping with
certain steps in the manufacture of Tamiflu. It didn't say how many it would
Roche said it would mainly use the partners, which include major
pharmaceutical makers, large generic manufacturers and specialty chemical
producers, as backups, to meet specific regional needs and to prepare for any
large additional government orders in the future.
"We are now also in the position to have a backup supply
in case of an emergency," said David Reddy, who heads Roche's influenza pandemic