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    New center to produce lower-cost cancer drugs

    Hürriyet Daily News
    09.07.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    ISTANBUL - Deva Holding, a Turkish pharmaceuticals firm, announced the opening of its new research and development center in Çerkezköy on Wednesday.

    The new R&D center involves an investment of 10 million euros and will focus on developing the firm's range of oncology, central nervous system and respiratory disease medicines.

    Philipp D. Haas, chief executive officer of Deva Holding, noted the new facility would largely prioritize the development of oncology medicine. "The prices for oncology medicines are extremely high at present. We believe that by researching this area, and bringing new products to the market, we can help the government to bring overall health care costs down."

    "Our mission is to develop modern effective drugs with reasonable prices. Our R&D project will be of great value to the Turkish economy," Haas said.

    The new R&D center will also contribute to the local economy and employment, Haas noted. Some 30 people currently work at Deva Holding's Çerkezköy R&D department. The firm's job advertisement for R&D, sales and marketing positions earlier this month has already attracted some 12,000 applications, although the firm initially had concerns about how attractive average job seekers would find Çerkezköy, an industrial town 110 kilometers outside Istanbul in Thrace.

    "We asked ourselves earlier how it would be possible to attract professionals into Çerkezköy, but still decided to establish the R&D center there as it would not be close to residential or office areas. This has to be done within a confined pharmaceutical industrial complex where the appropriate safety measures are in place, too."

    "However, so far we have had a tremendous response to the job advert. First, we aim to recruit 50 people for the new center. We also have about 100 positions to fill in the sales department. In total we will hire 150 new people in the next few months," Haas said. "At the center, we are using technologically advanced, imported instruments, which cost the same all over the world. But the construction costs in Turkey are clearly cheaper," Haas said.

    In the medium term Deva Holding aims to gain a 10 percent market share of oncology drugs in Turkey. Deva Holding will introduce three new oncology medications by the end of the year. "These will be at least 20 percent cheaper than the existing medicine on the market," he said.
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