Diagnostics company opens $8m HQ

Roche Diagnostics opened its new Asia-Pacific headquarters and regional centre of excellence yesterday.

The $8.4-million facility, comprising laboratories and offices, will be used as a training site for the company's technical staff and as a support centre for its regional customers.

Diagnostics has been identified as a high-growth segment of the global medical technology industry and a focus area for Singapore.

"In 2013, diagnostics was selected as one of the four innovation clusters to be supported under Singapore's national Innovation Cluster Programme," said Ms Thien Kwee Eng, assistant managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board, at the opening ceremony.

Ms Thien said the $200-million programme will strengthen partnerships across companies, universities, research institutes and government in order to bring ideas quickly to the market, raise productivity, create jobs and grow the sector.

The Asia-Pacific contributes 19 per cent of the Swiss-based company's diagnostic business globally, raking in sales of 10.8 billion Swiss francs (S$15.4 billion) last year, said Mr Lance Little, managing director of Roche Diagnostics Asia Pacific. The company had 20 per cent of the Asia-Pacific market for in-vitro diagnostics sales last year.

In-vitro diagnostics refers to the testing of blood, urine, saliva and tissue in a controlled environment. Mr Little said diagnostics can influence more than 60 per cent of clinical decisions.

"Asia-Pacific is home to about 4.1 billion people and is a rapidly developing and growing region with many challenges in healthcare delivery," he added.

"Diagnostics is a key factor in providing sustainable and efficient healthcare."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2015, with the headline 'Biotech company opens $8m HQ'. Print Edition | Subscribe