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Roche not yet meeting demand for molecular COVID-19 tests, chairman says - Metro US

Roche not yet meeting demand for molecular COVID-19 tests, chairman says

Workers clean windows of a building of Roche in Rotkreuz

VIENNA (Reuters) – Swiss drugmaker Roche is unable to meet demand for molecular tests to identify active COVID-19 infections, its chairman told Swiss daily Tagesanzeiger.

“The demand exceeds our production,” Christoph Franz was quoted as saying in Saturday’s paper. The decision on where tests were shipped to depended, among other things, on infection rates and the availability of diagnostic equipment.

Demand for its antibody tests, which determine whether people have ever been infected with the coronavirus, can be met as Roche has been boosting production, he said.

The drugmaker has said that it aims to more than double production of antibody tests to well over 100 million a month by the end of the year.

Franz said that Roche had started research on a potential drug to treat COVID-19 but added that these efforts were at a very early stage.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knoll, editing by Louise Heavens)

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