Roche beats forecasts in strong H1 results
Roche has published very encouraging full results for the first half of this year, with cancer drug sales helping to drive profits up 7% and core earnings per share rising faster than sales at 5% at constant exchange rates.
The Swiss company has helped to breathe life into its aging cancer blockbusters, with sales of Herceptin (trastuzumab), Avastin (bevacizumab) and MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab) all rising 4-5%. Overall sales in the pharmaceutical division totalled 19.5 billion Swiss francs.
In terms of original estimates, Roche managed to exceed expectations with core earnings per share of 7.74 Swiss francs ahead of 7.52 estimates, sales of new breast cancer drug Perjeta (pertuzumab) up a currency-adjusted 35% and a once-off accounting effect of 426 million Swiss francs benefitting its pension plan.
Regulatory approvals were encouraging for Roche in the first half of 2016. Venclexta (venetoclax) received an FDA accelerated approval in April in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, Tecentriq (atezolizumab) got the same approval in bladder cancer and the EU approved MabThera/Rituxan and Gazyva/Gazyvaro plus bendamustine in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and follicular lymphoma, respectively.
Regarding the emerging pipeline, Roche hailed significant progress with Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) set to be go before the regulators later this year in progressive multiple sclerosis, while positive clinical data was presented on Tecentriq in other cancer indications.
Roche CEO Severin Schwan says: “In the first half of the year, both our pharmaceuticals and diagnostics divisions showed good growth across all regions. The launch of our first cancer immunotherapy medicine Tecentriq is off to a strong start. We also completed the US and EU filings of Ocrevus, which brings us an important step closer toward launching this promising multiple sclerosis medicine.
“Based on our first half performance, I am confident that we will meet our full-year targets for 2016.”
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