New, top-shelf breast cancer drug sales lift Roche above Q3 expectations
- Roche's Q3 2014 revenues were up 1.8% to $12.5 billion, beating analysts' estimates of $12.3 billion.
- Sales of Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab), for treatment of breast cancer, were up more than 200% to $152.7 million for the quarter, while Perjeta (pertuzumab)—also for the treatment of breast cancer—had sales of $260 million, a 227% increase compared with Q3 2013.
- Perjeta has been praised for showing "unprecedented" efficacy in extending advanced breast cancer patients' lives.
Roche had a solid third quarter, putting it on track to reach its full-year revenue goals. Performance was solid on a sector-by-sector basis for everything from pharmaceuticals to diagnostics. Much of the growth was driven by the company's two top-shelf breast cancer drugs, Perjeta and Kadcyla.
Perjeta in particular has emerged as a widely used treatment based on phase III data that surpassed all expectations. But it wasn't only the new drugs that contributed to the successful quarter. Older drugs, such as Rituxan (rituxumab) for treatment of leukemia, also enjoyed increased sales, as did Avastin (bevacizumab), which was up 6%.
The growth streak is expected to continue as Roche starts to see earnings from Esbriet (perfenidone), a new treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which was cleared by the FDA just this week. Esbriet is one of two new IPF drugs that have entered the market, providing an approved, IPF-specific pharmacologic treatment option for patients with the rare lung condition for the first time. The addition of Esbriet to Roche's portfolio bodes well for the company as it enters a $2 billion market and maintains its presence as a leader across a broad range of therapeutic areas.