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Pharmaceutical giant Roche shares rise as COVID-19 test compensates for a drop in drug sales


The company said pharmaceutical giant Roche’s demand for COVID-19 tests has helped offset a drop in its core drug business, the company said Wednesday, when reporting sales in the first quarter of 2021 and confirmed the outlook for the year.

Shares of a pharmaceutical giant based in Basel, Switzerland, which is a leading provider of cancer treatments, rose 1.5% in the Zurich transaction.

Roche
ROG,
+ 1.77%

reported revenue of 14.9 billion Swiss francs ($ 16.2 billion) for the group as a whole for the first quarter of 2020. Sales figures show a 1% decrease in sales compared to CHF 15.1 billion. francs in the same period last year, but up 3% at constant exchange rates – reflecting the relative strength of the franc against other currencies.

In a statement, Roche said that the relative weakening sales in the first quarter were due to the fact that the 2020 equivalent period was largely unaffected by the pandemic. COVID-19 has only started to have a significant impact on the company since April 2020, the group said.

Also read: CureVac says they are on the right track with the COVID-19 vaccine when posting the earnings update

Roche’s primary drug business has been plagued by the pandemic because the shutdown has resulted in a decline in demand for drugs that need regular medical centers, such as infusions. This, in small part, is balanced by the addition of drugs used to treat COVID-19, such as treatments for coronavirus pneumonia.

Sales at Roche’s pharmaceuticals division, which contributes to more than two-thirds of the group’s revenue, fell 9% in fixed currency from 2020 to CHF 10.6 billion. While the new drugs saw strong growth, the division posted CHF 1.6 billion in sales due to competition from cancer biotubes, which rival versions of non-patented drugs. invent.

The smaller diagnostic business has more luck, with revenue up 55% from 2020 levels to CHF 4.3 billion. The growth was driven by the company’s diverse portfolio of COVID-19 assays, including products to check for coronavirus mutations, as well as an overall increase in conventional diagnostic testing.

More: Antibody test Roche COVID-19 meets the endpoint

“The reception of our recently introduced diagnostic tests and drugs remains strong, while we continue to see the expected impact from bio lenses on sales of our products. Our established drug, ”said CEO Roche Severin Schwan. “The upcoming acquisition of GenMark underscores our commitment to helping control infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance.”

In March, the group agreed to buy US-based diagnostic test maker GenMark
GNMK,
+ 0.12%

in a $ 1.8 billion deal. Expected to end in Q2 2021, the acquisition will give Roche access to molecular assays that can detect multiple pathogens from a single patient sample, speeding up the treatment process. GenMark will also add more COVID-19 assays to Roche’s roster.

The company also confirmed its outlook for 2021 on Wednesday, saying that sales are expected to grow in a single-digit low-to-medium range with constant currencies, with core earnings. Per share is expected to increase with sales. The group does not report quarterly earnings.

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