Both divisions saw good sales growth for the nine months, with Pharmaceuticals up 4% and Diagnostics up 6%. Growth in the Pharmaceuticals Division was driven by the oncology portfolio, in particular the medicines for HER2-positive breast cancer, Herceptin, Perjeta and Kadcyla, whilst growth in Diagnostics mainly stemmed from a continued strong performance in Professional Diagnostics.
Recent highlights included new approvals for Avastin in cervical cancer in the United States and platinum-resistant ovarian cancer in Europe, and of Gazyvaro in Europe for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. In Diagnostics, the cobas 6800 and cobas 8800 integrated laboratory testing instruments were launched. The Diagnostics division also launched a global access programme for HIV viral load testing in resource constrained countries, in partnership with a number of organisations, including UNAIDS, the Clinton Access Initiative and the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS relief. Another achievement was Roche being named the Group Leader for the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the sixth year running.
Commenting on the nine month results, Roche CEO Severin Schwan said: "Demand for our products is strong in both divisions and we are well on track to reach our full-year targets. We have had positive news from our product pipeline, including study results for Perjeta in breast cancer and a new combination therapy with Zelboraf in melanoma. The InterMune acquisition has also strengthened our portfolio with a new medicine, Esbriet for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which has now been approved by the FDA. In Diagnostics, growth continues to be driven by the immunodiagnostics business and we have strengthened our molecular diagnostics portfolio with a new generation of testing systems."
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and neuroscience. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche's personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostics that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. Founded in 1896, Roche has been making important contributions to global health for more than a century. Twenty-four medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organisation Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and chemotherapy.
In 2013 the Roche Group employed over 85,000 people worldwide, invested 8.7 billion Swiss francs in R&D and posted sales of 46.8 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.