Roche 1st Quarter Sales Up 7%.

Thu, 04/16/2009 - 4:40am
BASEL, Switzerland (AP) — Pharmaceuticals maker Roche Holding AG reported Thursday a 7 percent increase in first quarter sales thanks to strong demand for its cancer drugs, anti-virals and eye products. The Swiss drug maker, which reports profit figures only for the half year and full year, said sales grew to 11.6 billion Swiss francs ($10.16 billion) from 10.86 billion francs in the first three months of 2008. Sales were mainly driven by a 30 percent increase in cancer drug Avastin and an 11 percent increase in breast cancer treatment Herceptin — both developed by recently acquired biotech firm Genentech. Roche, which completed its $46.8 billion takeover of the California-based company last month, said it plans to have finished the integration of Genentech by the end of the year. A full-year outlook including the impact of the Genetech acquisition is planned with the release of the half-year results on July 23, Roche said. Flu treatment Tamiflu saw a 38 percent increase in sales, Roche said.

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