Roche Ceo, Severin Schwan is out beating the drum for Roche's next series of pipeline candidates that the company is counting on to drive revenue growth even as it is losing some drug sales to generic competition.
Schwan says analysts and other commentators are being premature in saying that all the low hanging fruit has been picked (and eaten). He says, "I believe there are enormous opportunities in this industry as we are only now beginning to understand how diseases are working." Schwan stays true to his mantra that continued investment in R&D will pay off for Roche's future pipeline.
Next out of the shoot are several drugs that Roche management and the investment community are counting on as the next Roche blockbusters and revenue drivers. These include:
- Metmab for the treatment of lung cancer
- Lebrikizumab for the treatment of asthma
- Pertuzumab for the treatment of breast cancer (to be filed in the US and EU in 2011)
- Dalcetrapib (a CETP inhibitor) to boost "good cholesterol"
Roche also has its recently approved melanoma drug, Zelboraf to drive sales. Dalcetrapib is being picked by some analysts as the next mega-blockbuster with peak annual sales estimates ranging up to as high as $6.8 billion. However, others view it as a potential cautionary tale as Merck is also targeting this indication with its drug, anacetrapib. Pfizer's entrant into this category, torcetrapib, has already gone down in flames and may not bode well for the other similar drugs.
Nevertheless, Roche has a big bet on its next pipeline candidates and odds appear to be in its favor that some will prove their worth as big revenue drivers. See the WSJ, Fierce Biotech 1, and Fierce Biotech 2.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Aug 22nd 2011.