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Roche's 2012 MDx Sales Jump 7 Percent as Applied Science Growth is Flat

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche today reported that its molecular diagnostics revenues increased 7 percent year over year, surpassing the overall growth of the firm's diagnostics division.

The Swiss drugs, diagnostics, and research products giant reported total diagnostics sales of CHF 10.27 billion $11.22 billion), up 5 percent from CHF 9.74 billion in 2011. On a constant currency basis, revenues were up 4 percent year over year.

Roche's MDx sales increased to CHF 1.17 billion from CHF 1.09 billion, up 4 percent at constant exchange rates. It said that MDx sales were driven by its blood screening business and hepatitis C virus monitoring.

The firm also noted that during the fourth quarter it launched the LightCycler 96, expanding its portfolio of PCR instruments for genotyping, gene expression, and other research applications. The LightCycler 96 "saw a very positive uptake with more than 100 instruments sold within two months," Roche said in a statement.

Roche noted that its diagnostics business has more than 200 ongoing biomarker and companion diagnostics projects with Roche Pharmaceuticals, as well as 12 new agreements concluded with external pharmaceutical companies. In addition, in October it launched an ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) tissue test as a companion diagnostic for Pfizer's crizotinib in the EU.

Roche's applied science revenues were virtually flat year over year at CHF 737 million, compared to CHF 740 million in 2011. On a constant currency basis, applied science sales were down 3 percent.

"The decline in sales in the applied science business was a result of lower public research funding and competition in gene sequencing," Roche said. It noted that both its applied science and diabetes care businesses undertook restructuring efforts during 2012 "to sustain long-term profitability and to refocus their portfolios for future growth."

Roche's tissue diagnostics business reported sales of CHF 631 million, up 16 percent from sales of CHF 542 million in 2011.

Overall, the Roche Group reported revenues of CHF 45.50 billion, up 7 percent from sales of CHF 42.53 billion in 2011.

Its net income was CHF 9.78 billion, or CHF 13.62 per share, versus a profit of CHF 9.54 billion, or CHF 12.30 per share, for 2011.