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Roche sales in Q1 rose 7% to 15.1 billion Swiss francs ($15.57 billion), with drugs business revenue up 7% and diagnostics rising 5% at constant exchange rates. Roche (RO) stock is in the green.
Swiss pharmaceutical company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (SWX: RO) said that its diagnostic business has moved out of the shadows of its main medicines unit during the coronavirus epidemic. The company said that it “still expects full-year sales to grow in the low- to mid-single-digit percentage range.” Meanwhile, Roche (RO) stock is at 338.20 CHF (+1.68 %). Just to compare: a month ago the price was around 272 CHF. It means that Roche stock gained around 25% in 30 days.
Earlier today the company said that its sales increased to 15.1 billion Swiss francs in the first quarter of 2020, rising 2% from the same period a year earlier. The company also confirmed its outlook for 2020 with sales seen growing “in the low- to mid-single digit range” at constant exchange rates.
Roche Global Supply Chain ‘Remains Intact’ while RO Stock Is Rising
The pharmaceutical giant noted that its global supply chain for medicines and tests “remain intact” amid the coronavirus pandemic and stressed its antibody test is expected to be available starting from early May with production reaching “double-digit million tests” by June.
CEO Severin Schwan stated:
“Roche made important contributions to the fight against COVID-19. In close collaboration with authorities we were able to make our cobas SARS-CoV-2 test available and to initiate a global phase III study of Actemra/RoActemra in COVID-19 pneumonia in record time.”
Also, let’s not forget that United States President Donald Trump revealed that 3.78 million coronavirus tests have been administered in the country to date, “more than any other country in the world.”
Speaking at the Coronavirus Task Force press briefing, Trump thanked Roche Holding AG and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) for testing. “Nearly 660,000 Abbott IDs have been distributed, one of the most accurate tests for the virus,” he said. The president also estimated that “there will be 5.5 million testing swabs sent to the states.”
‘Safety First’ for Roche
“We’ve built sufficient testing capacity to reopen” the economy, he claimed, but added that the administration will be also looking to put “safety first.”
Also, let’s just mention that last month Roche CEO Severin Schwan said on Monday that it will take “weeks if not months” before COVID-19 tests are widely available in the United States.
Schwan then said that his company made 400,000 testing kits available in the past seven days, but stressed demand is significantly higher than supply.
Start of Trial Testing
Earlier, Roche said it would start testing of its Actemra/RoActemra drug on hospitalized coronavirus patients. Back in March 19 this year the company announced it is set to start “a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III testing” of Actemra/RoActemra on hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia in early April.
The trial will be conducted in collaboration with the United States Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), the Basel-based firm said in a statement.
According to the latest information, the overall number of people infected with coronavirus in the world stands at little bit less than 2.6 billion. The official death toll in the world reached 179,063 people while 705,401 people have been reportedly recovered.
In Switzerland, the number of all infected patients stands at 28,268 with 19,400 people being recovered. The death toll in the country is 1,478. The United States has 819,321 people infected with a death toll of 45,355.