The drugmaker says revenue will increase less than 10 percent this year - the slowest rate since 2004 - thanks to slowing sales of the flu vaccine as well as the Herceptin breast-tumor treatment. Tamiflu sales will decline by about $1.6 billion, because governments have stockpiled enough of the product for an avian influenza outbreak, ceo Franz Humer tellsBloomberg News.
At the same time, Roche reported strong sales of Avastin and MabThera cancer drugs helped lift full-year net profit by 25 percent. You can read more detail in the Roche statement.
Meanwhile, Humer says the drugmaker is proceeding with plans to develop a med to raise HDL, the good cholesterol. A simliar Pfizer drug called torcetrapib crashed and burned in 2006 over deaths in a late-stage trial, raising questions about the entire class of CETP inhibitors. But Roche is undeterred, according to Reuters. "It's not a higher risk than any other phase III development programme," Humer says. "If we were to see something we didn't like, we could stop"