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Roche: to increase availability of COVID 19 tests

( - Roche said on Tuesday that it is accelerating the delivery and production of its immunosuppressive drug Actemra and is working to increase the availability of tests to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said that it has started a phase III study on Actemra's potential utility in severe COVID-19 patients, evaluating the safety and efficacy of the drug in hospitalised adult patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.

Following the announcement of new clinical trials, and a potential increase in demand, Roche is working to increase its manufacturing capacity to maximise the drug's production, despite current logistics challenges.

Roche has also said that it plans to supply millions of cobas SARS-CoV-2 tests per month, which detect the novel virus causing COVID-19 disease.

To safeguard supply, Roche recommends a focus on testing patients who present signs and symptoms of the disease, rather than a broad testing of the healthy population.

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