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Roche Says Sales of 454 Sequencers Increased 12 Percent Year-to-Date in 2009


By Julia Karow

This article was originally published Oct. 15.

Roche said last week that sales of its DNA sequencing systems, which are part of its Applied Science business area and are manufactured by 454 Life Sciences, increased 12 percent during the first nine months of 2009.

Sales for Roche Applied Science as a whole totaled CHF 616 million ($608 million) during the first nine months of 2009, a 12-percent increase over the same period last year.

The business' MagNA Pure nucleic acid purification and LightCycler PCR analysis systems contributed most to this growth, "helped by strong demand for instruments and reagents for pandemic influenza testing and surveillance," according to a company statement.

Sales of DNA sequencing systems increased 12 percent during the period, "despite a decline in research funding, notably in the US."

Roche's only DNA sequencing system is the Genome Sequencer FLX, a high-throughput sequencing system made by 454 Life Sciences, which Roche acquired in 2007. The company does not break down revenues by products.

454 Vice President for R&D Michael Egholm told In Sequence last month that the company plans to launch several updates for the platform — including longer reads for early-access customers — during the fourth quarter (see In Sequence 9/29/2009).

Roche Applied Science, one of five business areas of Roche's Diagnostics division, contributed 8 percent to the division's CHF 7.4 billion overall revenues in the first nine months. All five businesses "helped drive growth" of 8 percent total during that period, Professional Diagnostics being the biggest contributor.

Overall sales for the Roche group, consisting of Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics divisions, totaled CHF 36.4 billion for the first nine months, an 11 percent increase over last year's revenues.

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