Healthcare Industry News:  influenza 

Biopharmaceuticals

 News Release - July 10, 2006

Cardinal Health Signs Agreement With Roche to Manufacture Tamiflu(R)

Additional Capacity to Increase Tamiflu(R) Production to Support Government Pandemic Stockpiling

DUBLIN, Ohio, July 10 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Cardinal Health, the leading provider of products and services supporting the health-care industry, today announced that it has signed agreements to manufacture and package TamifluŽ for Roche to help meet current and future demand for the influenza medicine, which is recommended by the World Health Organization as a frontline treatment against a potential pandemic avian flu outbreak.

Under the terms of the manufacturing agreement, Cardinal Health will manufacture 75 mg hard gelatin capsules of TamifluŽ on behalf of Roche at one of Cardinal Health's manufacturing sites in Europe. The companies also have arrangements in place for TamifluŽ packaging and printed insert production at facilities in the United States.

"Roche has demonstrated global leadership through its commitment to increase production in advance of a possible avian flu outbreak," said Joseph Papa, chairman and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services segment of Cardinal Health. "Cardinal Health's pharmaceutical manufacturing and packaging expertise allows companies like Roche to expand production in a timely manner. This model is vital in preparing for and responding to situations like avian flu, where rapid, cost-effective solutions are critical to success."

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that stockpiling antivirals in advance is presently the only way to ensure that sufficient supplies are available in the event of a pandemic. Roche has been working closely with WHO and national governments to ensure governments are aware of the importance of stockpiling antivirals before a pandemic occurs. Roche has received and fulfilled pandemic orders for TamifluŽ from more than 75 countries worldwide. The magnitude of these orders varies with some countries, France, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and UK stockpiling or intending to stockpile adequate TamifluŽ to cover 20 to 40 percent of their population. Roche has also donated 5.125 million courses of TamifluŽ treatment to the WHO for international rapid response and regional response to a pandemic influenza strain.

Cardinal Health manufactures or packages products for nine out of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies and most leading biotechnology companies. The company manufactures or packages more than 100 billion doses of pharmaceuticals every year.

About TamifluŽ (oseltamivir)

TamifluŽ is designed to be active against all clinically relevant influenza viruses and works by blocking the action of the neuraminidase (NAI) enzyme on the surface of the virus. When neuraminidase is inhibited, the virus is not able to spread to and infect other cells in the body. TamifluŽ was invented by Gilead Sciences and licensed to Roche in 1996. Roche and Gilead partnered on clinical development, with Roche leading efforts to produce, register and bring the product to market. For more information, please check http://www.tamiflu.com. On influenza, see http://www.health-kiosk.ch/start_grip.htm

About Cardinal Health

Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH ) is a $75 billion, global company serving the health-care industry with a broad portfolio of products and services. Through its diverse offering, Cardinal Health delivers integrated health-care solutions that help customers reduce their costs, improve efficiency and deliver better care to patients. The company manufactures, packages and distributes pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, offers a range of clinical services and develops automation products that improve the management and delivery of supplies and medication for hospitals, physician offices and pharmacies. Ranked No. 19 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs more than 55,000 people on six continents. More information about the company may be found at http://www.cardinalhealth.com.

About Roche

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world's leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As a supplier of innovative products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people's health and quality of life. Roche is a world leader in diagnostics, the leading supplier of medicines for cancer and transplantation and a market leader in virology. In 2005 sales by the Pharmaceuticals Division totalled 27.3 billion Swiss francs, and the Diagnostics Division posted sales of 8.2 billion Swiss francs. Roche employs roughly 70,000 people in 150 countries and has R&D agreements and strategic alliances with numerous partners, including majority ownership interests in Genentech and Chugai. Additional information about the Roche Group is available on the Internet (http://www.roche.com).


Source: Cardinal Health

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