Roche provides additional donation of 5.65 million packs of Tamiflu to World Health Organization

    110 million Tamiflu treatment courses to be produced over next 5 months
    with increase to 36 million treatments per month by year-end if required

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 12 /CNW/ - Roche today announced a new donation to
the World Health Organization (WHO) of 5.65 million courses of treatment of
the antiviral drug Tamiflu (oseltamivir). This donation includes:

    -   Replenishment of the Regional Stockpile of 2 million treatment
        courses of Tamiflu to be held by the WHO and used to address regional
    -   Replenishment of the Rapid Response Stockpile of 3 million treatment
        courses of Tamiflu to be held by Roche and deployed under the
        direction of the WHO; and,
    -   Establishment of a new pediatric stockpile of 650,000 treatment
        courses of Tamiflu small (30mg and 45mg) capsules.

    "The recent outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) shows that such a virus can be
totally unexpected and spread rapidly around the globe," said William M.
Burns, CEO Pharmaceuticals Division of Roche. "This emphasizes the urgency of
restoring WHO and Roche Rapid Response Stockpiles, alongside national
government stockpiles, to prepare for subsequent waves with this virus or for
addressing newly emerging influenza strains."
    In addition, Roche announced that its production of Tamiflu can be up to
110 million courses of treatment over the next five months. After this time
the production of Tamiflu will increase towards a maximum production output of
36 million treatment courses per month by year end if required. This equates
to a maximum annual capacity of 400 million treatment courses (4 billion
capsules) per year.
    "Roche has been rapidly increasing production of Tamiflu at multiple
points in the supply chain," stated Dr. David Reddy, Head of Roche's Global
Pandemic Preparedness Task Force. "Actual production output is dependent upon
continued demand from governments for pandemic stockpiles of Tamiflu."
    Following declaration of pandemic alert phase 5 the WHO announced that
"the international community should treat this as a window of opportunity to
ramp up preparedness and response."
    In view of the uncertain impact of the influenza A (H1N1) virus on the
current Southern Hemisphere influenza season, and the subsequent Northern
Hemisphere winter season, it will be important for all stakeholders to closely
monitor events and continue pandemic preparedness.

    About Roche

    Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in
research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and
diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly
differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and
CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based
cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalized
healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that
enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of
    In 2008, Roche had over 80'000 employees worldwide and invested almost 9
billion Swiss francs in R&D.
    The Group posted sales of 45.6 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United
States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority
stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:

    All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

    Notes to Editors

    (*) H1N1 swine-flu virus causing outbreak is a new virus, antigenically
        very different from the seasonal A (H1N1) virus.

For further information:

For further information: Laura Pagnotta, Roche Canada, (905) 542-5853,

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