RocheThe Roche Group recorded total sales of 11.6 billion Swiss francs in the first quarter of 2009, an increase of 8% in local currencies (7% in Swiss francs; -1% in US dollars)1 compared with the year-earlier period. Growth was driven mainly by continued strong sales of key products in the Group's oncology, virology, ophthalmology and inflammation portfolios, and of Roche Diagnostics' immunoassay systems.

  • Group sales up 8% in local currencies and 7% in Swiss francs to 11.6 billion Swiss francs (-1% in US dollars)
  • Roche completes transaction to take full ownership of Genentech — key decisions on organisational structure and management appointments taken
  • Full-year outlook to be updated to include impact of Genentech transaction and communicated with half-year results

Pharmaceuticals Division

  • Sales advance 8% in local currencies and Swiss francs - around twice as fast as the global market - driven by key products in the oncology, virology, ophthalmology and inflammation portfolios
  • Encouraging response to rollout of RoActemra for rheumatoid arthritis in first EU countries
  • MabThera receives EU approval as first-line treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia
  • FDA advisory panel unanimously supports use of Avastin in patients with previously treated glioblastoma brain cancer
  • Results of phase III trial of Herceptin in HER2-positive inoperable stomach cancer (ToGA) released a year earlier than expected due to significant overall survival benefit

Diagnostics Division

  • Divisional sales grow 8% in local currencies and 3% in Swiss francs, well ahead of the global market
  • Professional Diagnostics and Tissue Diagnostics are key growth drivers
  • Acquisition of innovatis strengthens Roche Applied Science's cell analysis portfolio

Unless otherwise stated, all growth rates are in local currencies

Commenting on the first three months of 2009, Roche CEO Severin Schwan said: "With growth of 8%, the Roche Group's sales developed very well in the first three months of 2009. Sales in both divisions continued to grow significantly faster than their respective markets. We are therefore confident that we can achieve our full-year targets. Following the friendly merger agreement with Genentech and rapid completion of the transaction, we have made considerable progress with integration activities. We are delighted that Art Levinson will continue to support us in an active role and that many outstanding individuals from both Genentech and Roche have committed themselves to driving forward the combined businesses. We will update our full-year outlook to include the impact of the Genentech transaction when we announce our half-year results."

About Roche
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, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2008, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested almost 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.6 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: