Roche is planning to invest CHF240m ($259m) to construct a new diagnostics production facility at its Penzberg biotechnology center in Munich, Germany.

The new 26,000ft² plant, which will be known as Diagnostics Operations Complex II (DOCII), will be comprised of three structures including a central, six-storey laboratory building with a basement level and two adjacent single-level plant buildings.

The plant, which is scheduled to be operational in December 2014, will increase the production of reagents used in immunoassay testing, which detects biomarkers from patients’ blood and facilitates in managing life-threatening conditions such as heart attack, heart failure, hepatitis and cancer.

Roche diagnostics division chief operating officer Roland Diggelmann said modern diagnostic systems can test blood samples from up to 1000 patients an hour and deliver highly accurate results.

"Based on laboratory tests, doctors are able to prescribe timely, targeted care for their patients," Diggelmann added.

"The new facility will ensure that we can continue to meet the rising demand for reagents."