Sales in the Pharmaceuticals Division were up 4% to CHF 19.5 billion, driven by demand for oncology and immunology medicines. Sales in the US increased 4%, led by immunology treatments Xolair and Esbriet, as well as Herceptin and Perjeta against HER2-positive breast cancer. There was high demand for Alecensa, which was recently launched in the US for a specific type of lung cancer. Sales of Lucentis and Tarceva declined due to the continued impact of competition. In Europe (+5%), Perjeta, MabThera/Rituxan and Actemra/RoActemra recorded strong sales growth, especially in Germany and France. In the International region (+4%), growth was driven by HER2 medicines, Avastin and MabThera/Rituxan. This growth was partly offset by lower Pegasys sales due to competition from a new generation of hepatitis C treatments. In Japan, sales rose 2% driven by HER2 medicines, Alecensa and Actemra/RoActemra.
Sales in the Diagnostics Division grew 6% to CHF 5.6 billion. All regions contributed to this growth, particularly Asia-Pacific (+17%). Professional and Tissue Diagnostics grew strongly. Diabetes Care sales were impacted by continued challenging market conditions, especially in North America.
In the second quarter, Roche achieved several key regulatory milestones. In April, Venclexta (venetoclax) received accelerated approval in the US for a specific form of leukemia. This medicine was jointly developed with AbbVie. In May, the FDA granted cancer immunotherapy Tecentriq (atezolizumab) accelerated approval in the US for a specific type of bladder cancer. Also in May, the subcutaneous formulation of MabThera/Rituxan received approval in the EU for people with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. In June, the European Commission approved Gazyva/Gazyvaro plus bendamustine for the second-line treatment of follicular lymphoma. The EU authorities also approved the combination of Avastin and Tarceva for the treatment of people with a specific type of lung cancer. Strong Pharma pipeline
Commenting on the Group's results, Roche CEO Severin Schwan said: "In the first half of the year, both our Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics Divisions showed good growth across all regions. The launch of our first cancer immunotherapy medicine Tecentriq is off to a strong start. We also completed the US and EU filings of OCREVUS, which brings us an important step closer toward launching this promising multiple sclerosis medicine. Based on our half year performance, I am confident that we will meet our full-year targets for 2016."
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The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2015 employed more than 91,700 people worldwide. In 2015, Roche invested CHF 9.3 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 48.1 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.