Friday, May 1, 2009

Roche to tap tissue diagnostic biz here

KOLKATA: Roche Diagnostics India, a wholly-owned arm of Swiss pharma and diagnostics major F Hoffmann-La Roche, plans to expand its India footprint by foraying into the tissue diagnostic segment. It plans to roll out tissue diagnostic systems, which will help in faster and easier diagnosis of cancer and infectious diseases. 

This will be in conjunction with substantial investment on clinical research for generating India-specific data for both, new product development, and marketing existing products. Roche plans to consolidate its Indian operations over the next 3-4 years and emerge as one of India’s top healthcare diagnostic equipment companies.

Talking to ET, Roche Diagnostics India CMD Bhuwnesh Agrawal said the tissue diagnostic products would enable doctors and pathologists to undertake analysis of tissue samples.

“We got this portfolio by virtue of Roche’s global acquisition of US’ Ventana Medical Systems. It will help us to expand our presence in India,” he said. Globally, the diagnostic division has a revenue of around $9 billion and accounts for nearly 20% of Roche’s overall turnover.

Roche is one of the world’s leading players in the in-vitro diagnostic devices segment — products used to test blood, other body fluids and tissues.

Roche Diagnostics India is also planning to focus on rolling out products which are targeted around the main disease burden of India. “For instance, we are looking at rural and child healthcare in a major way. This includes products to diagnose and prevent cases of maternal mortality, sepsis, TB, renal function and cardio-vascular diseases,” said Mr Agrawal.

In line with this, the company on Monday announced the launch of a new diagnosis device for heart failure — NT-proBNP. Roche feels this product will help doctors to diagnose the risk of developing heart disease and its management in a cost-effective manner. The test is likely to cost around Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 for patients in India.

Roche also plans to undertake clinical research in a major way in India. “We have recently undertaken a study of 15,000 subjects on blood transfusion systems in Delhi. Such studies will generate clinical data that will help us to devise product standards since the genetic make-up, weight and height of Indian people are quite different. Such clinical research will provide medical value to pathologists and doctors here,” said Mr Agrawal.


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