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Roche Dx Revenues up 2 Percent, Hit by Currency Exchange

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Roche today reported that first quarter sales for its Diagnostics Division were up 2 percent year over year, while sales for the molecular diagnostics business was down 2 percent due to the negative effects of currency exchange.

At constant exchange rates, sales for the Diagnostics Division were up 7 percent at CHF 2.46 billion ($2.79 billion), while the MDx business was up 4 percent at CHF 370 million. The firm said that sales for its professional diagnostics business were up 9 percent at CHF 1.39 billion at CER, while diabetes care diagnostics were up 5 percent at CHF 538 million, and tissue diagnostics increased sales 4 percent to CHF 156 million.

Roche said that its MDx business was driven by its blood screening tests (up 17 percent), human papillomavirus tests (up 56 percent), other viral infections tests (up 5 percent), and nucleic acid purification/real-time PCR reagents (up 4 percent). It also noted a 32 percent increase in sales for oncology companion diagnostic tests.

Last week Roche announced that it had acquired Iquum, a privately held company developing point-of-care molecular diagnostics, for $275 million upfront and up to $175 million in contingent product-related milestones. The acquisition fills a hole in Roche's MDx portfolio, and a company official told PCR Insider last week that Roche would work with Iquum over the next year to rapidly build out the platform's test menu, eyeing infectious diseases such as respiratory syncytial virus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium difficile.

Overall, Roche reported first quarter Group sales of CHF 11.50 billion down 1 percent from CHF 11.59 billion for Q1 2013, but up 5 percent at constant exchange rates.

Sales for the firm's Pharmaceuticals Division were down 1 percent at CHF 9.04 billion, but up 4 percent at CER.

Roche said that it expects FY 2014 revenue growth in the low- to mid-single digits at CER.