BY ALEX GREGORY
“Pill Hill” just got a bit busier. Major drug developer Roche Canada announced plans last week to invest $500 million over the next three years into positioning itself as a major player in Mississauga, via the creation of a global pharma technical operations site to add to its established presence in the city. The investment, which is expected to add 500 jobs by 2023, would support the company’s global manufacturing and supply chain operations, building off its current offices on Mississauga Road, in the city’s north end.
The investment aims to improve the province’s competitiveness and leadership in the life sciences sector, representatives from the company and the provincial government said last Friday. “Ontario was selected for this investment based on a strong competitive business environment, exceptional talent pool, and a government committed to fostering growth in the sector,” said Roche Pharmaceuticals president Ronnie Miller.
“We applaud (the province for fostering) a business environment that can compete internationally to attract investment opportunities, and Roche’s commitment to add up to 500 specialized positions is a direct result of these positive changes.” Foster was joined by Premier Doug Ford, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie and other provincial representatives during the announcement. In total, the new operations hub will support 13 manufacturing plants across the world, via monitoring the quality, safety and distribution of the company’s products worldwide.
The decision to base the new hub in Ontario came as a result of the company’s previous track record in the city, the city’s business environment and its highly skilled workforce. The province beat out 12 other international sites for the investment. “Roche’s new operation hub in Mississauga will further anchor Ontario’s position as a titan in life sciences, creating good-paying jobs in the community, and ensuring Ontario’s best and brightest minds advance the important work Roche does to transform health care here in our province and beyond,” Ford said during the event.
Currently, more than 66,000 skilled jobs and an annual $53.2 billion in revenue are generated by the province’s health life sciences sector, according to the province. Representatives said the province is expected to develop a “Life Sciences Strategy” to further data modernization and procurement reform in the province. Roche Canada currently employs more than 1,800 across Canada, through the Mississauga site and its Diagnostics/Diabetes Care divisions in Quebec