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Roche MDx Sales Help Drive 2014 Diagnostics Revenues up 3 Percent

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche today reported that its Fiscal Year 2014 revenues for its diagnostics division jumped 3 percent, or 6 percent on a currency-neutral basis, to CHF 10.77 billion ($11.89 billion) from CHF 10.48 billion, driven in part by sales gains in its molecular diagnostics business.

The Swiss pharmaceuticals and diagnostics products giant reported overall sales of CHF 47.46 billion, up 1 percent from sales of CHF 46.78 billion for FY 2013. At constant exchange rates, its group sales were up 5 percent year over year. Its core net income was flat year over year at CHF 12.53 billion, while its core earnings per share was CHF 14.29 versus CHF 14.27.

Sales for its pharmaceuticals division were up 1 percent, or 4 percent at constant exchange rates, to CHF 36.70 billion from CHF 36.30 billion.

Within Roche's diagnostics division, the molecular diagnostics business saw sales increase to CHF 1.61 billion from CHF 1.58 billion year over year. During the year the firm launched several MDx products, including the cobas 6800 and cobas 8800 systems for molecular testing, and noted particularly strong revenue growth for its HPV screening tests, which were up 48 percent year over year. Earlier in the year, the US Food and Drug Administration approved its cobas HPV test for use as a first-line primary screening test for cervical cancer in women ages 25 years and older.

Though it didn't provide a sales figure for its sequencing products, it said that MDx sales were up 8 percent, rather than the reported 6 percent, when excluding sequencing.

Roche reported sales of CHF 6.05 billion for its professional diagnostics business, up 5 percent from CHF 5.77 billion in FY 2013. Its diabetes care business saw a decline in sales to CHF 2.39 billion from CHF 2.50 billion, though on a currency neutral basis sales for that business were up 1 percent. Roche's tissue diagnostics business saw sales rise 8 percent to CHF 716 million from CHF 665 million.

Acquisitions bolster MDx business

Roche also made several acquisitions and investments during 2014 aimed at growing its reach in the MDx market and omics markets.

In April, it acquired Iquum, a Massachusetts-based firm developing a point-of-care molecular testing platform called Liat (laboratory-in-a-tube). It agreed to pay Iquum shareholders $275 million upfront and up to $175 million in contingent product-related milestones.

It followed that deal in June with the acquisition of single-molecule sequencing platform firm Genia Technologies for $125 million in cash and up to $225 million in additional payments tied to milestones. Roche also invested $15 million in Stratos Genomics, which is developing sequencing-by-expansion chemistry for nanopore sequencing.

In October it acquired the exclusive rights to next-generation sequencing target enrichment technology from AbVitro. And in December Roche announced deals to acquire non-invasive prenatal testing provider Ariosa Diagnostics and bioinformatics firm Bina Technologies.

Earlier this month, Roche said that it had taken a majority stake worth more than $1 billion in oncology genomic testing firm Foundation Medicine.

Roche finished 2014 with CHF 3.74 billion in cash and cash equivalents.