Cancer drugs give Roche a 2012 profit boost

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 30, 2013 at 2:25 am •  Published: January 30, 2013
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GENEVA (AP) — Growing demand for its cancer medicines and diagnostic tests used by clinical laboratories helped Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG post a modest 2.4 percent increase in full-year profits.

The Basel-based company said Wednesday that it made a net profit of 9.77 billion Swiss francs ($10.6 billion) in 2012, against 9.54 billion francs the year before, and that it anticipates further gains this year.

The company, which is the world's biggest manufacturer of cancer drugs, said it delivered strong results for 2012 in part due to the launch of its new breast cancer medicine, Perjeta, in the United States and Europe. Overall sales were up 4 percent at 45.5 billion francs ($49.2 billion).

"We met our financial targets, grew faster than the market, and our strong pipeline positions us well for further growth," said Roche CEO Severin Schwan. "A particular highlight in 2012 was the approval of breast cancer medicine Perjeta, which helps women with HER2-positive breast cancer live longer. We now look forward to getting T-DM1, our other novel breast cancer therapy, to patients as soon as possible."

Roche benefits from having strong sellers whose patents are not expiring soon, unlike many of its major competitors. But like most other major Swiss companies it has in recent years battled against the strength of the franc. That somewhat reversed in 2012 with the fall in the franc against the dollar and the yen.

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