Roche is the worldwide leader in cancer treatments, but it’s threatened by the increasing competition of biosimilars and the development of next-generation cancer drugs. Is there a risk for the “biggest Biotechnology company worldwide” to lose its leading position on the lucrative anti-cancer business?
The Swiss giant makes massive amount of cash with its cancer treatments, totalling 3 monoclonal antibodies based anti-cancer drugs listed in the 2014 10 best-selling drugs worldwide. This list includes Avastin (n°1, $9.3Bn/year), Rituxan (n°3, $7.8Bn/year) and Herceptin (n°6, $5.8Bn/year). In total, that’s $22.9Bn (€20.45Bn)! That’s obscenely high, even if they have been used to save many lives worldwide.
For example, in the case of Herceptin, this breast cancer drug transformed the percentage of cured HER2 patients from 20% to 70%. These sales have awarded Roche first place in the cancer-treatment market worldwide, and this was largely thanks to its pioneering development of monoclonal antibodies.
But the grass isn’t as green as it appears…
Roche is always facing fierce competition. The threat of biosimilars is constantly around the corner,