Roche sees slowdown in COVID-driven gross sales progress By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The brand of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

By Ludwig Burger

(Reuters) -Roche’s first-quarter gross sales rose 10% on sturdy U.S. demand for speedy COVID-19 antigen checks and specialty medicine however the Swiss drugmaker reaffirmed {that a} drop in pandemic-related demand would put the brakes on progress.

Chief Executive Severin Schwan predicted a lot decrease COVID associated gross sales, primarily from checks and antibody therapy Ronapreve, any further.

“There is of course a scenario where there is an upside in the winter season, depending on how COVID-19 will develop but that is not our planning scenario,” he mentioned on a name with reporters on Monday.

Roche additionally reaffirmed that gross sales of COVID-19 medicines and diagnostics would lower by about 2 billion Swiss francs this 12 months to round 5 billion francs.

Roche’s quarterly gross sales rose to 16.44 billion Swiss francs ($17.17 billion), up from 14.93 billion Swiss francs within the year-earlier interval. That was barely above a market consensus of about 16 billion francs.

The diagnostics division accounted for a lot of the optimistic shock, reporting gross sales progress of 24% to five.3 billion francs on utilization of its COVID-19 checks and cardiac checks.

Despite the gross sales enhance, additionally pushed by medicine together with Ocrevus towards a number of sclerosis in addition to Hemlibra towards haemophilia, Roche reiterated that it anticipated currency-adjusted 2022 gross sales to be flat or develop within the low-single-digit share vary, under final 12 months’s 9% achieve.

Ocrevus income gained 18% to achieve 1.45 billion francs and Hemlibra gross sales jumped 30% to 853 million francs, offsetting a decline in established off-patent most cancers medicines Herceptin, Avastin and Rituxan because of cheaper rival merchandise.

Roche’s shares had been down 1.6% at 0915 GMT, a barely worse efficiency than a 1.5% decline within the STOXX Europe 600 Health Care index as some medicine, together with most cancers immune-therapy Tecentriq, had slower-than-expected gross sales progress.

Roche additionally mentioned an oral drug candidate giredestrant to combat a standard sort of breast most cancers did not gradual illness development in a mid-stage medical trial in girls that had gone by different therapies, however the broader trial programme would proceed.

Rival Sanofi (NASDAQ:) final month suffered an analogous improvement setback in the identical class of medication, often called oral SERDs, designed to combat tumours that develop in response to oestrogen.

The new drugs, together with one by AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:), could be a extra handy possibility for sufferers than painful month-to-month pictures that at the moment are the usual.

($1 = 0.9577 Swiss francs)

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