Bullish Roche talks targeted takeovers, showcases T-DM1's prospects

Roche CEO Severin Schwan--Image courtesy of the Roche Group.

Now that Roche ($RHHBY) has pushed Perjeta (pertuzumab) out into the market to grow sales for its breast cancer franchise, the pharma giant is confidently positioning T-DM1 as its next potential oncology blockbuster most likely to succeed with regulators. And the bullish sentiment was underscored by CEO Severin Schwan, who excited reporters today with some bullish talk about a new round of bolt-on deals--reviving speculation that Roche will make another attempt to buy the gene-sequencing company Illumina ($ILMN).

"We continue to look for bolt-on acquisitions that complement our platforms and products," Schwan told analysts, according to a Reuters report. And Illumina? He wouldn't say, exactly.

"Sequencing is certainly one of the business areas we are looking to invest in," Schwan noted, according to Bloomberg. "We are looking for a variety of options to build this business both internally and externally."

Altogether, Roche says that it recently concluded 14 late-stage studies with 11 positive results. And there's no doubt that its armed antibody, T-DM1, is the star of the pipeline show.

"An updated overall survival analysis of the EMILIA trial presented at this year's European Society for Medical Oncology congress showed that T-DM1 significantly extended the lives of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer compared with patients who were given combined lapatinib and Xeloda," Roche noted in its third-quarter review.

Roche posted a spike in third-quarter sales, beating Street estimates.

- get the press release
- here's the Reuters report
- read the story from Bloomberg
- get more on Roche's diagnostics plans from FierceMedicalDevices

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