Roche shares boosted by cancer and haemophilia drug trials

Success in trials for two drugs encourages market as company explores new treatments

  Roche shares surged after two experimental medicines succeeded in much-anticipated patient trials. Photograph: Steffen Schmidt / EPA

Roche shares surged after two experimental medicines succeeded in much-anticipated patient trials. Photograph: Steffen Schmidt / EPA

 

Roche shares surged after two experimental medicines for cancer and haemophilia succeeded in much-anticipated patient trials, boding well for the Swiss drugmaker’s ability to grow as its biggest drugs face competition.

A cancer treatment called Tecentriq delayed the worsening of lung tumours when given together with chemotherapy and an older Roche medicine, Avastin. Meanwhile, a drug known as Hemlibra succeeded in a late-stage study of the biggest group of haemophilia A patients, putting the company in a position to shake up the $10 billion global market for treating the blood disorder.

Both trials are key metrics of whether Roche, the world’s biggest maker of cancer drugs, can rebuild its portfolio as its best-selling treatments face cheaper copycat rivals for the first time.

The company is entering a three-year transition period as it tries to push forward new treatments, chief executive Severin Schwan told investors last month.

The shares rose 6.6 per cent to 245.30 Swiss francs by late afternoon Monday.

– Bloomberg