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Roche's Q1 MDx Sales Drop 3 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche today reported that its sales for its molecular diagnostics products fell 3 percent for the first quarter as revenues for its Diagnostics Division overall grew 1 percent.

The Swiss diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and research products firm reported total group sales of CHF 11.59 billion ($12.45 billion), up 5 percent year over year, and driven by its pharmaceutical products sales, which rose 6 percent to CHF 9.17 billion from CHF 8.62 billion.

Sales for Roche's molecular diagnostics products were CHF 276 million for the quarter, down from CHF 285 million year over year. The drop was due to "significant regional orders for blood screening in early 2012 [that] were not repeated in 2013," the firm said in a statement. It added that sales for its HPV and hepatitis B virus molecular diagnostic tests "supported the business," while sales of its oncology tests also increased.

Revenues for Roche's Applied Science business, which includes its sequencing franchise, declined 10 percent year over year to CHF 165 million from CHF 183 million. It said the fall was due to discontinued products and lower research funding, though sales of its PCR and nucleic acid purification products remained stable. Sales for its genomic analysis products, which are composed of sequencing and microarray products, fell 33 percent year over year.

Roche decided to shutter its NimbleGen microarray business last year.

The firm's Tissue Diagnostics business reported sales growth of 7 percent to CHF 157 million from CHF 147 million.

Roche noted that during the first quarter it signed four new agreements to develop companion diagnostic products for external partners.