News Feature | January 31, 2014

Roche Reports Strong 2013 Performance Thanks To Breast Cancer Franchise And Regulatory Approvals

Source: Pharmaceutical Online

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Roche delivered a glowing report of its last quarter and full year 2013 results today, with a six percent rise in group sales at 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Roche’s pharmaceutical sales and core earnings per share (EPS) growth also showed strong performances in 2013.

Roche’s group sales increase was a result of strong demand for the company’s biologic medicine in areas of ophthalmology, oncology, and immunology. Roche also cited high demands for its clinical laboratory diagnostic products, especially immunoassays. The company attributed its 7% increase in pharmaceutical sales to strong HER2 breast cancer franchise, Avastin, MabThera/Rituxan, Actemra/RoActemra and Lucentis demands. The company’s diagnostics sales were also up 4% on strong Professional Diagnostics performance. Roche also reported a 10% growth in its core EPS ahead of sales.

Severin Schwan, Roche’s Chief Executive Officer, said “2013 was a very good year for Roche. We exceeded our financial targets with strong demand for our existing products and positive uptake of recently launched medicines and diagnostics.” Roche reported positive regulatory decisions for its drug applications including Kadcyla, Perjeta and Herceptin SC, which served to boost its HER2 franchise. The US approval of Gazyva contributed to the company’s hematology franchise.

Schwan added, “In Diagnostics we introduced a range of new instruments and tests that further strengthen our position as market leader, including the cobas 8100 and a new HPV test for cervical cancer. With our strong product pipeline we are well positioned for future success." Roche currently has 66 new molecular entities in clinical development with 15 in late-stage development on its R&D pipeline. Roche selected eight new compounds to progress to late-stage development last year. These included six compounds in the oncology area, etrolizumab for inflammatory bowel disease, and lampalizumab for eye disease. Roche expects low to mid-single digit growth in 2014 at stable exchange rates.  The company looks to growing its core EPS ahead of sales and further increasing its dividend this year.