Japan was a standout for Roche in 2015, but a combination of price cuts for cancer therapy Avastin (bevacizumab) there and lower Tamiflu sales will show up in early 2016.
Roche counts on its tried-and-true cancer drugs Rituxan, Avastin and Herceptin to bring home the bacon, and the meds did not disappoint in 2015. But despite the drugs' strong performance, Roche still missed on profits last year, disheartening news for the company as it readies itself for biosimilar competition to some of its top sellers.
The Indian state of Telangana has become the second state to block sales of Roche's cancer drug Avastin after 15 patients partially lost their sight after using it.
Roche, maker of pricey wet age-related macular degeneration drug Lucentis, has long railed against countries' moves to use its cancer drug Avastin off-label for the same condition, arguing that there isn't any real proof that the med can safely treat the blinding eye disease. Now the company has new ammo to bolster its argument, as two states in India suspended sales of Avastin after it caused vision problems in patients.
Roche's bread-and-butter cancer drugs--Rituxan, Avastin and Herceptin--delivered once again in the third quarter, and now the Swiss drugmaker expects 2015 to turn out better than it previously had forecast.
Partners Amgen and Allergan say their knockoff of Roche's blockbuster Avastin proved itself on par with its reference product, putting the pair a step closer to biting into the cancer drug's billions in annual revenue.
The French government recently said "oui" to Roche's ($RHHBY) cancer drug Avastin as a cheap, off-label treatment for the blinding eye disease wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), prompting a resounding "non" from the pharma industry, which is none-too-pleased with the country's latest move.
Earlier this year, Regeneron scored a win when its eye drug Eylea outperformed a pair of Roche meds in a head-to-head study. And now, that win is paying off.
Celldex has added another round of positive data demonstrating that its brain cancer vaccine rindopepimut--more formally called Rintega and less formally "rindo"--provided a clear though relatively modest average survival benefit for recurrent glioblastoma patients in a Phase II study. And with the initial data set from Phase III looming later in the year, the biotech is carefully moving forward with its ongoing dialogue with regulators to gauge just how receptive they may be to speeding up an approval.
Roche's Avastin has been on the market for more than a decade and boasts a long list of valuable approvals. But Roche is not sitting back the status quo, and continues to submit the drug for new uses. Now, the company racked up yet another OK for Avastin, scoring European approval for the drug in combination with chemotherapy to treat women with advanced cervical cancer months after the company got a similar decision from stateside regulators.