Roche Reports Positive Q3 2014 Results

Roche has announced positive Q3 results for 2014, with pharmaceutical sales increasing by 4% in the third quarter to 9.13bn francs, while their diagnostics division grew by 7% to 2.65bn francs.

The results were boosted by increased sales of Roche’s new breast cancer drugs, Perjeta and Kadcyla.  Sales of Perjeta more than tripled to reach 245 million Swiss francs, while Roche’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) Kadcyla doubled its turnover to 144m francs compared to the 2013 Q3.

Two new drugs for HER2-positive breast cancer reinforced a strong performance by Herceptin, which rose 9% to 1.6bn francs at constant exchange rates.  Herceptin could face biosimilar competition in its first markets later this year, but it keeps patent protection in the US until 2019, which account for a just over 30% of total sales.

Avastin also saw an increase of 6% to 1.65bn francs, aided by new regulatory approvals for cervical cancer in the US and platinum-resistant ovarian cancer in Europe.

Roche’s biggest product, MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab) for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and arthritis, saw sales drop slightly by around 2% in real terms to 1.76bn francs, although removing currency effects meant it grew slightly.  Rituximab did particularly well in Europe, driven by increased market share in follicular lymphoma and a new first-line indication in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL).

Roche’s chief executive, Severin Schwan, commented that “demand for our products is strong in both divisions and we are well on track to reach our full-year targets.”  Roche also confirmed earlier guidance of low- to mid-single-digit sales growth this year at constant exchange rates and for core earnings per share (EPS) to grow ahead of sales.


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