Swiss global healthcare firm Roche has decided to invest CHF450m ($467m) in developing a new diagnostic manufacturing plant in Suzhou, China.

The investment will be made in the next three years to build the facility, which is expected to meet the growing demand for diagnostic tests in China and the Asia Pacific region.

A new Chinese facility will concentrate on producing immunochemistry and clinical chemistry tests, as well as products crucial to clinical laboratory testing.

According to the company, the site plans to build a workforce of more than 600 employees over the next few years.

“The new Chinese facility will concentrate on manufacturing immunochemistry and clinical chemistry tests, as well as products crucial to clinical laboratory testing.”

Roche Diagnostics chief operating officer Roland Diggelmann said: “Roche is committed to investing in China and the Asia Pacific region.

“The new site will enable us to meet the growing demand for our diagnostic products, ensuring our continuous contribution to the health of people in China and the Asia Pacific region.

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“We are confident that by establishing our manufacturing footprint here in Suzhou close to our China operations, we can further increase our market responsiveness and contribute to the overall competitiveness of our business.”

The new Roche Diagnostics production facility is scheduled to be fully operational by 2018 and will initially focus on packaging operations in the first phase.

According to the company, the new facility will be the eighth worldwide and the first in the Asia Pacific region.

Roche Diagnostics is focused on providing new tests and technologies to labs and hospitals worldwide.