Roche posts sales increase

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Kadcyla pulled in $173 million in sales since its introduction in the US market in February
Kadcyla pulled in $173 million in sales since its introduction in the US market in February

Roche bolstered its case for expansion Thursday with the release of sales numbers for the first nine months of the year. Overall sales neared $39 billion, a 4% increase compared to the same period last year. Pharmaceuticals contributed $30 billion. US pharmaceutical sales were up 12% compared to the same period last year, adding close to $13 billion to total pharmaceutical sales, followed by the EU which kicked in around $7.7 billion. Diagnostics sales rose 3%, to $8.5 billion.

Despite tight competition, the company's wet AMD/diabetic macular edema/retinal vein occlusion treatment Lucentis wrangled $1.4 billion in sales, a 13% increase, compared to the same period last year.

Market newcomer Kadcyla pulled in $173 million in sales since hitting the US market in February and Switzerland in May, while Perjeta added $206 million to the sales total. Hot spots included breast cancer treatments Avastin, with a 13% bump in overall sales compared to the same period the year before and Herceptin, which saw total sales rise 6%, and US sales jump 11%.

The company has logged several recent wins in breast cancer, including the February introduction of Kadcyla, and the FDA's September approval of Perjeta as a first-line, pre-operative treatment for breast cancer. The Perjeta decision was the first FDA-approved drug in a neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer.

Roche announced Monday that it was throwing more money behind its push for biologics and committed to hiring 500 new employees and spending $800 million across four sites in the next five years.

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