Roche Holding AG says it expects it will be able to supply as much as 50 percent more of the Trimeris (Nasdaq:TRMS) anti-HIV drug Fuzeon by the end of 2003, according to Reuters.

The news agency said that David Reddy, head of Roche’s HIV/AIDS franchise, told Reuters that he now expects the drug to be provided to 18,000 patients by the end of the year, compared with the previous company forecast of 12,000 to 15,000. Reddy made the comment at an AIDS conference.

Roche also said it expects further improvements by removing production bottlenecks at a U.S. plant in Colorado that makes Fuzeon, Reuter’s reported.

Fuzeon, which requires more than 100 steps to make, is one of the most complex medicines on the market.