Roche lifts guidance after strong third quarter
Roche reported strong sales growth in the first nine months of 2019 in an update on Wednesday, and raised its outlook for the full-year once again.
The Swiss pharmaceuticals giant said group sales increased 10% at constant exchange rates and 9% in Swiss francs to CHF 46.07bn (£36.22bn), which it put down to new products.
It said its pharmaceuticals division saw sales rise 12% to CHF 36.56bn, driven by high demand for recently-launched medicines - primarily ‘Ocrevus’, ‘Hemlibra’, ‘Tecentriq’ and ‘Perjeta’.
The diagnostics division sales improved 4% to CHF 9.51bn, which was mainly due to its immunodiagnostic testing portfolio, the Roche board explained.
On the operational front, Roche noted that a number of new treatment options and diagnostic tests were approved in the third quarter, with ‘Rozlytrek’ for lung cancer with a specific gene mutation and solid tumours carrying a certain gene fusion given the green light in the United States.
In the EU, three new indications for Tecentriq were approved - for a certain type of breast cancer, as well for the initial treatment of non-small cell and small cell lung cancer.
The cobas Babesia test for individual blood donation testing was also approved in the US, to reduce transmission of the parasite through transfusions.
Roche raised its outlook again, saying it now expected sales to grow in the high-single digit range at constant exchange rates for 2019.
“The uptake of our newly introduced medicines is very strong,” said chief executive officer Severin Schwan.
“We are successfully entering new disease areas and providing important new treatment options to serve more patients with severe conditions.
“Based on the strong demand for our new medicines and continued progress of our product pipeline we have raised the outlook for 2019 and I am confident that we will continue to grow beyond this year.”