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Tamiflu stockpiling lifts Roche


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


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