Rising demand for Tamiflu, as governments stockpile the medicineamid fears of a swine-flu pandemic, has helped Swiss drug company Rochelift group third-quarter sales by 14% to £7.6bn – beating analysts’consensus forecasts.
The improved results, which were also buoyed by strong growth insales of its cancer drugs, allowed the company to raise its full-yearexpectations.
The pharmaceutical giant said it now expects at least highsingle-digit sales growth for its pharmaceuticals division in 2009while its diagnostics division, too, is “expected to grow well ahead ofmarket” this year.
Tamiflu sales increased more than eight-fold to £611m in the threemonths to 30 September and full-year sales are expected to reach£1.7bn, Roche said.
Chief Executive Severin Schwan said the integration US biotech firmGenentech is progressing well. Roche completed its £29.3bn takeover ofGenentech in March after a protracted battle to win over Genentechshareholders, many of whom had expressed concern about a clash ofcorporate cultures between the Swiss and US companies.
Sales of Roche’s cancer drug Avastin – to treat advanced colorectal,breast, lung and kidney cancer, as well as relapsed glioblastoma, atype of brain tumour – grew 21% and reached £978m.
Copyright © Press Association 2009