Roche seeks to make injectable device for Herceptin

BASEL, Switzerland Roche is investing 190 million Swiss francs (U.S. $182 million) into production of a new device that will allow self-administration of one of its breast cancer drugs, the Swiss drug maker announced Wednesday.

The company said the device uses Halozyme Therapeutics’ “Enhanze” technology to allow patients taking Herceptin (trastuzumab) to administer a formulation of the drug themselves without infusion by injecting it into the tissue under the skin. The drug is normally administered by infusion. Infusion takes an hour, but subcutaneous injection takes around five minutes.

Roche said the money would go into production sites in Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, and Mannheim, Germany. A phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the formulation is ongoing.

“We always strive to improve our products and manufacturing technologies, which in turn benefit our patients,” Roche Pharma Global Technical Operations head Pat Yang said. “This innovative formulation and the associated new device are designed to simplify patients’ lives.”

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