Roche Q1 sales boosted by 2 new cancer medicines

Markets Associated Press

Swiss pharmaceuticals company Roche says revenues rose 4 percent in the first quarter, powered partly by improved U.S. sales of two recently launched cancer medicines.

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The Basel-based company, a leading cancer-drug specialist, reported sales of 12.9 billion Swiss francs ($13 billion dollars).

U.S. sales climbed 6 percent thanks to recent release of Tecentriq, for some types of bladder and lung cancer, and Alcensa for lung cancer.

Sales of Roche's top seller MabThera/Rituxan, for some types of blood cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis, rose 4 percent to 1.9 billion francs. Generic competition dented sales of flu treatment Tamiflu.

CEO Severin Schwan hailed U.S. approval for multiple sclerosis treatment Ocrevus, and said Roche was on track to meet its 2017 targets: Sales are expected to grow in low- to mid-single-digit percentage points.