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Roche's Molecular Diagnostics, Applied Science Sales Rise in Q1

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche today reported that its molecular diagnostics sales increased 4 percent and its applied science sales climbed 19 percent for the first quarter of 2008.
The Swiss pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and life sciences research giant posted an overall decline in first-quarter sales of 4 percent, due to reduced demand for its influenza drug Tamiflu and the weaker US dollar. It reported revenues of 10.9 billion Swiss francs ($10.9 billion), down from CHF 11.4 million in the comparable period of 2007.
Sales for its diagnostics division grew 3 percent year over year to CHF 2.3 billion from CHF 2.2 billion. Its molecular diagnostic sales rose 4 percent to CHF 270 million, Roche said. The biggest portion of Roche’s molecular diagnostics business, the virology segment, had 4 percent revenue growth, while sales of blood screening products fell 8 percent, “primarily as a result of increased pressure on prices,” said Roche.
The firm expects to receive US clearance of its cobas TaqScreen MPX test, which simultaneously detects HIV and hepatitis B and V in donated blood, in the second quarter of this year.
Roche’s applied science segment reported first-quarter sales growth of 19 percent to CHF 183 million. It noted that its sequencing business doubled revenues compared with the first quarter of 2007 and that it introduced upgrades Genome Sequencer FLX and LightCycler 480 instruments during the first quarter.
Sales for tissue diagnostics subsidiary Ventana Medical Systems, which Roche acquired in mid-February for around $3.4 billion, totaled CHF 65 million from the date of acquisition through the end of the first quarter on March 31.
Roche confirmed its guidance for full-year 2008 sales growth in the high single digits.

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