Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in

Roche says Tecentriq "off to a good start"

Bladder cancer therapy drug seems set for rapid growth

Roche Basel Switzerland 

Roche's new bladder cancer therapy Tecentriq made $19m in sales in its first few weeks on the US market, helping the company beat first-half sales forecasts.

Tecentriq (atezolizumab) is the third drug in the fast-growing PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor category to reach the market, and based on initial uptake seems set to follow the same rapid growth trajectory as its predecessors - Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) and Merck & Co's Keytruda (pembrolizumab).

The PD-L1 inhibitor was approved in May in the US as a treatment for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) whose disease has progressed during or after platinum-based chemotherapy and is the first immuno-oncology drug to be approved in this setting. It is predicted to eventually become a $3bn product. 

Roche needs Tecentriq and other new launches such as AbbVie-partnered Venclexta (venetoclax) for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) to grow quickly as it starts to face the prospect of biosimilar competition for its big-selling antibody drugs.

Overall, revenues at the Swiss pharma group rose 4% to 25bn Swiss francs ($25.3bn) in the first six months of the year, with the pharma division up 4% to 19.46bn francs, which was a little higher than analyst consensus forecasts. 

Once again, cancer drugs drove the increase in the pharma division with its trio of therapies for HER2-positive breast cancer accounting for around 4.75bn francs. Strong gains for Perjeta (pertuzumab) and Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) reinforced a 5% increase for HER2 stalwart Herceptin (trastuzumab) to 3.4bn francs.

Roche's top-selling drug MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab) - approved for several indications including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and CLL - also managed a 4% increase to 3.7bn francs. 

Chief executive Severin Schwan highlighted the prospects for multiple sclerosis candidate Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), another potential blockbuster which was awarded a priority review by the FDA last month and could be effective in both relapsing/remitting and secondary progressive forms of MS.

Article by
Phil Taylor

21st July 2016

From: Sales



Featured jobs

Subscribe to our email news alerts


Add my company
PharmiWeb Solutions

PharmiWeb Solutions creates, delivers and manages digital solutions for the pharmaceutical and healthcare segment. From digital marketing, to patient education...

Latest intelligence

How to get rep buy-in for multi-channel
How do you manage a team who may be resistant to change?...
Blog: Digital therapeutics: within our reach?
Digital therapeutics is a hot topic right now. By using digital technology to manage, treat or even prevent chronic conditions, digital therapeutics is promising to revolutionise healthcare. But is this...
figure 1
The valuable brand
Creating value beyond the pill is both possible and increasingly necessary...