Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Doric Nimrod Air One Limited LSE:DNA London Ordinary Share GG00B4MF3899 ORD PRF SHS NPV
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 33.00 30.00 40.00 - 0.00 07:47:46
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Equity Investment Instruments 0.0 -13.8 -32.4 - 14

Doric Nimrod Air One Share Discussion Threads

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Genentech confirms buyout offer from Roche; shares rally NEW YORK (Thomson Financial) - Shares of Genentech Inc. surged to their highest price in more than two years on Monday after the San Francisco-based biotechnology company confirmed its receipt of a buyout offer from Roche. The shares jumped 14% to $93.09 on Monday on a volume of 8 million shares. The issue's 30-day volume is 3.8 million shares. An intraday high of $94.19 represents the best price for the shares since January 2006. Roche, which currently owns 55.9% of Genentech, offered to rest of the company's stock that it doesn't already own for $89 a share. The offer represents a 8.8% premium to the stock's Friday closing price of $81.82. Genentech said a special committee of its board composed of the independent directors will evaluate the proposal. Ryan Vlastelica rv/mb
source: Cantos Jul 20 2008 Roche makes offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Genentech Dr Franz B. Humer, Chairman Roche makes offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Genentech Strategic rationale Q. Why are you proposing to change the nature of your partnership with Genentech and increase your ownership from 55.8 per cent to 100 per cent? A. You need to look at the history. Genentech and Roche go back a long time together. We've got a history of 20 years of close collaboration. In those 20 years, a lot of things have changed. Genentech itself is a different company today than it was 20 years ago. It is a fully integrated pharmaceutical company. At the same time, the environment – the market – has changed. So we were thinking strategically, "What do we need to do to put that partnership on a new level for the next 20 years?" And we are absolutely convinced that it is in the interest of both parties that we acquire the 100 per cent and then structure it in a way that strengthens both sides of the operation. We will run Genentech's research and early development as a separate, independent unit within Roche, thereby maintaining the spirit, the culture, the whole environment of creativity, of diversity of approaches in research, which is necessary for that success. And, on the other hand, by combining the commercial operations and other parts we'll be able to really achieve the synergies, the scale, that is necessary in other parts of the operation. Q. But isn't this deal really all about cost-cutting in a particularly competitive environment, particularly in the US? A. I don't deny that there is an increased competitive environment in our industry. But the key to success in this business is innovation. Are we able to create enough medically scientifically differentiated products that clearly bring a benefit to patients and to payers and to physicians? I think that's where the nucleus of what we are trying to achieve with this strategic move really lies. We want to strengthen even further the collaboration on both sides, in terms of creating new medicines. That's why we are keeping Genentech as an independent unit within Roche, while at the same time the possibility exists that both sides of research can tap into the pool of technologies, of capacities, of working with third parties. So that will foster and create a new and a better environment for innovation. Q. But aren't you putting a highly successful partnership at risk? A. I don't think so. On the contrary, I think we're putting it on a new level for the next 20 years. Simply continuing what we have done in the last 20 years is not good enough to succeed in the future. And the key, as I said, is innovation. So what do we need to do to foster that innovation, to create even more and better new products than we did in the past? I think the two corporations working together, while maintaining the diversity of approach, is the ideal way to go forward. Q. But you've always said that you wouldn't do a big pharma transaction like this. Why do this now? A. It isn't a big pharma transaction. Genentech is different. We've known this company for 20 years. They've known us for 20 years. We market the products that come out of Genentech outside the United States. So we're just putting it into a new framework, but we are not putting it at risk. Enhancing innovation Q. What decisions have you made about the structure and the operations of the combined entity? A. Obviously at this point in time we are at a very early stage. We have made some high-level decisions, as I mentioned before. We will keep the independent research unit of Genentech. We have made the decision that we will relocate our commercial headquarters from the East Coast to the West Coast, so forming the seventh-largest pharmaceutical company in the United States in terms of market share. And with the United States being the biggest market in the world we are creating an enormous strength here. We have made the decision that we will close Nutley manufacturing. We have made the decision that we will move Virology research from Palo Alto onto the Genentech campus and Inflammatory research from the Palo Alto campus to the New Jersey campus, so also strengthening our research operation on the East Coast. Q. You talked a little bit there about innovation. Can you talk a little bit more, in detail, about your ability to innovate? A. The ability to innovate is something that you can't command. Innovation is really dependent on the quality of the scientists; the quality, the integrity of the science that is being carried out; and on the ability to work long-term. Look at some of our most successful products today. Look at an Avastin, at Herceptin, at Xeloda – those are research projects which were started 20 years ago. And they are now coming to fruition. So what we are doing today, what we are putting in place today, will bear fruit in the next 10 to 20 years. Our investment to new technologies like RNAi, the way we are allowing diversity of approaches in research. That will create new products. Q. Yet Genentech is legendary for its innovative and science-driven culture. What will Roche do to preserve the entrepreneurship within that business? A. Everything that's necessary to achieve that. That's why we are keeping it as an independent unit. That's why we are not integrating it into our structures, into our way of working. They will be able to continue to make their own decisions on which projects to bring forward, which projects not to bring forward. And they'll have the ability to tap into all the Roche resources around the world if they so desire. Q. And how will these steps directly affect employees? A. It will affect employees on both sides. If you look at the Roche employees who will relocate from the East Coast to the West Coast, part of the researchers out of Palo Alto who will relocate to the East Coast. But it will also create new opportunities: the new commercial headquarters in South San Francisco and the ability to collaborate on a worldwide scale. Impact of the transaction Q. What is the anticipated financial impact of this transaction on Roche? A. Let me first say it is in the interests of both shareholders to conclude the deal. Clearly, we are paying a full premium for acquiring the minority shareholding in Genentech. Second, it will be accretive in the first year after closure of the deal. And it will also create a much bigger cash resource for the Roche Group. Therefore we will be able to repay the debt relatively quickly. Q. And you talked about synergies earlier. Where are these synergies going to come from? A. The synergies will primarily come from back office functions, from the fact that Genentech will no longer be a public company. We will be able to avoid investment and expenditure in some of our manufacturing facilities. We'll be able to streamline our global late-stage development operations. That's where we expect synergies to arise, in the range of $750 million to $850 million. Q. And what happens to the two sales forces? A. Well, that's one of the great features of this deal. We need both sales forces, so they will be unaffected. They will be combined, but their total size will now be a commercial operation of 5,000 people. They will be promoting the key brands in many of the speciality disease areas; the leading company in oncology with sales of US$15 billion. A tremendous challenge for the sales force. That's why we need both teams. Q. And how do you think this will really affect the competitive position of Roche in the US? A. In the US, this will make the new company – which, by the way, will be operating under the Genentech name so, again, preserving the heritage, the reputation of that company - a powerhouse in the US market, now and for the foreseeable future. Q. And will this have any impact on Chugai? A. No, the Chugai operation is another part of the Roche Group. We own today nearly 60 per cent of Chugai, and it will continue to operate in the current form. Q. And how will this benefit doctors and patients around the world? A. It will benefit doctors and patients in a number of ways. First, we expect that we will be better able to create new and better products to treat disease. Let's not forget two-thirds of the world's diseases today are not being treated adequately. So there is a lot of room for improvement. It will speed up our development programmes; therefore it will allow us to approach clinical trials in an even more coordinated way on a global scale. Also, the way we can now offer the joint product range in the United States to payers and to physicians will deliver benefits. Q. And what about drug availability and drug access...? A. Will not be affected at all. The same way as the programmes we have in both companies today in providing access to people who can't afford our drugs, those programmes will continue the way they have been established. Q. And what about the philanthropic and the charitable commitments? A. The same. Both companies have, in different ways, their philanthropic, their charitable, programmes which they run in the United States and overseas. Those programmes will continue unaffected. Next steps Q. So what are the next steps then? What has to happen to make this deal move forward? A. Basically, what we have done is we've informed the independent directors of Genentech. The independent directors will now seek advice on the legal front and also from independent investment bankers. And then the negotiation process will start. And, when that is brought to an end, it will be put to a vote of the minority shareholders. Q. And if the deal weren't to go through, would you consider selling Genentech to another party? A. Absolutely not. Q. So how would you summarise then the opportunity that this deal brings to you, to both parties? A. Building one of the strongest pharmaceutical companies in the world, based on innovation, based on global presence, based on the image, based on the feeling, based on the culture, the new company can create.
Roche makes $89 per share cash offer for rest Genentech, or $43.7 bln UPDATE (Updates with unchanged Roche guidance, details of reorganisation) BASEL (Thomson Financial) - Roche Holdings AG said has proposed to acquire the outstanding publicly held interest in Genentech Inc. at $89.00 per share in cash, or a total payment of approximately $43.7 billion to equity holders of Genentech other than Roche. Roche acquired a majority in Genentech in 1990 and currently owns 55.9 percent of all outstanding shares. Roche expects the combination to generate annual pretax cost synergies of approximately $750 million to $850 million, it said. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Roche's earnings per share in the first year after closing. The combined company will generate substantial free cash flow that will enable it to reduce acquisition-related debt rapidly, invest in further product launches and retain strategic flexibility. The transaction will have no impact on Roche's sales and Core EPS targets for 2008, as communicated earlier in the year. Roche also remains committed to increasing its dividend pay-out ratio for the next three years as previously announced. The offer represents a premium of 8.8 percent to Genentech's closing price of $81.82 on July 18, 2008 and a one month premium of 19.0 percent to Genentech's closing price of $74.76 on June 20, 2008, Roche said. Genentech will operate as an independent research and early development center within Roche from its existing campus in South San Francisco, retaining its talent and approach to discovering and progressing new molecules. Roche's Palo Alto Virology research and development activities will relocate to South San Francisco, while its Palo Alto Inflammation group will become part of Roche's Nutley, NJresearch and development organization. Roche's Pharma commercial operations in the U.S. will be moved from Nutleyto Genentech's site in South San Francisco. The combined company's U.S. commercial operations in pharmaceuticals will reflect the Genentech name, leveraging the strong brand value of Genentech in the U.S. market. The existing U.S. sales organizations of both companies will be maintained, resulting in a very strong presence in several specialty areas. Genentech's Late Stage Development and Manufacturing operations will be combined with the global operations of Roche. Roche's manufacturing in Nutleywill be closed and support functions, such as informatics and finance, will be consolidated. The combined entity will be the seventh largest U.S. pharmaceuticals company in terms of market share. It will generate more than $15 billion in annual revenues and will employ around 17,500 pharma employees in the U.S. alone, including a combined sales force of approximately 3,000 people. Including diagnostics, the Roche Group will employ around 25,000 people in the U.S, it added. tf.TFN-Europe_newsdesk@thomson.com lam/lam/lam
Associated Press Genentech rises on 2Q results and higher outlook By MARLEY SEAMAN 07.15.08, 12:40 PM ET Popular Videos Dr. Vino's July Fourth Finds Small Beers, Big Business Doctors On Demand Billionaire Dropouts Groovy No More Related Quotes DNA 79.56 + 4.17 RHHBY-5 88.80 + 0.00 Most Popular Stories Young Billionaires Easily Overlooked Tax Deductions The No-Tech Hacker Job Hunting In A Downturn How To Tap Lenders When Credit Is Tight NEW YORK - Shares of Genentech Inc. climbed Tuesday after the biotechnology company reported solid second-quarter sales of most of its key drugs and raised its annual profit forecast. Genentech (nyse: DNA - news - people )'s profit fell short of Wall Street expectations for the quarter, but sales of its cancer drug Avastin met Wall Street estimates, and sales of another drug, Rituxan, showed strong improvement. The company raised its outlook to a range of $3.40 to $3.50 per share, from $3.35 to $3.40. The stock picked up $4.15, or 5.5 percent, to $79.54 in heavy afternoon trading. Jefferies analyst Adam Walsh attributed the higher forecast to the company's stock buyback and greater expense controls. Analysts focused on sales of Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer, where the drug received surprise regulatory approval in April, and on ongoing trials of the drug. Avastin's market share for treatment of one type of breast cancer grew to 35 percent, said RBC analyst Jason Kantor. That's compared with 25 percent in the first quarter, and Kantor said he expects sales to keep improving. He also expects good late-stage trial data for Avastin in colorectal cancer, where it is being tested as an adjuvant treatment, or a treatment to prevent cancer from recurring after surgery. "We remain confident in the adjuvant Avastin data, which could have positive results by year-end 2008," he said. "Positive results would open a significant new blockbuster market." Avastin is in midstage clinical testing as an adjuvant treatment for colon cancer, two types of breast cancer, and non-small-cell long cancer. Cowen analyst Eric Schmidt said those trials are key to the long-term growth of Avastin sales. Genentech spokeswoman Kristina Becker said that of those adjuvant studies, the closest to completion are two colon cancer trials. The company will provide an update on those studies late this year, with final results due in 2009. One study is being conducted in the U.S., while the other is based overseas and is being conducted by Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche (other-otc: RHHBY.PK - news - people ) AG, the majority owner of Genentech. Becker said the Genentech has not provided target dates for the breast and lung cancer studies because they are just getting started.
Global market expected to drive cancer drug growth WASHINGTON (AP) - The global market for cancer drugs will grow twice as fast as that for all other pharmaceuticals as the developing world spends more on health care, a new report says. China, Brazil, Russia and other emerging countries are becoming bigger customers for pharmaceuticals as they invest more in treating and diagnosing cancer, according to a report issued Thursday by IMS Health. The health care research firm expects pharmaceutical spending in countries such as India, Mexico and Turkey to grow by 12 to 13 percent over the next 15 years, compared with single-digit growth for more developed nations. Cancer drug spending is expected to grow between 12 and 15 percent annually through 2012 to $75 to 80 billion, according the report. The overall drug market is expected to grow at 6.4 percent. Feeding that demand are the multibillion-dollar research and development budgets of firms like Genentech Inc., Amgen Inc. and Novartis AG. "Oncology is the top of the bill when it comes to new products in development," said Titus Pattel, a vice president with IMS. "Oncology R&D dwarfs all other research efforts within these organizations." Cancer drug sales are expected to reach $48 billion this year, led by Genentech's breast cancer drug Herceptin, Novartis' leukemia drug Gleevec and other blockbusters. But the market is not immune to a slowdown. Expiring patents on older cancer drugs and efforts to tighten health care spending could limit future growth, according to IMS. Some European countries have begun paying drug companies based on how successfully their drugs treat patients. The Italian government, for example, only began reimbursing Johnson & Johnson for the cancer treatment Velcade after the drug demonstrated positive results in patients. IMS said that the adoption of similar policies in the U.S. it could slow spending on cancer medications. Pharmaceutical firms also face a tougher regulatory environment in the U.S., where the Food and Drug Administration has delayed several highly anticipated cancer therapies. Last year, the agency denied approval of Dendreon's prostate cancer vaccine Provenge, despite an overwhelmingly positive review by the agency's outside advisers. "There's a tendency from the FDA to be more conservative than they have over the last 10 years," Pattel said. An aggressive review environment could dampen the market for between 25 and 30 new anticancer drugs currently in development, the IMS report says. At the same time, some of the biggest blockbuster cancer drugs of the last decade will lose their patent protection, including Sanofi-Aventis' Taxotere and AstraZeneca PLC's Arimidex. Expiring drug patents and an increasingly crowded market for cancer therapies will lower spending in the U.S. and Europe. These markets are expected to account for 65 percent of the global cancer drugs market by 2012, down from 71 percent last year, according to IMS. The company's forecast comes ahead of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting, which begins May 30. Abstracts for company studies will be released online Thursday night, giving researchers and investors a preview of clinical results for experimental drugs.
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Warning over drug trial's effects on testing By Andrew Jack in London Published: May 13 2008 22:07 | Last updated: May 13 2008 22:07 A pioneering clinical trial launched this year by a US-backed research institute may fundamentally reshape relations between payers and the pharmaceutical industry, IMS Health, the healthcare consultancy, warned on Tuesday. The National Eye Institute-sponsored $16m "head to head" trial will compare the effectiveness of two drugs produced by Genentech, the biotech company controlled by Roche of Switzerland, and could lead to a much cheaper way to treat Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), which causes blindness. EDITOR'S CHOICE Southern Cross Healthcare searches for acquisitions - May-12Sanofi hit by talk of Plavix generic - May-09Optos wins award as it catches Brussels' eye - May-09A painful prognosis for big drugmakers - May-08Groups question their British roots - May-08GSK issues bonds to fund share buy-back - May-07IMS says the study, called CATT, opens "a Pandora's box" for the drug industry by taking testing out of the hands of the companies, changing the rules of development and potentially undermining a blockbuster long before it comes off patent. It describes CATT as one of the top seven "harbingers of change" for 2008 highlighted in its yearly analysis of significant events likely to affect the evolution of the pharmaceutical sector. The trial, unveiled last month and set to conclude in 2010 without any involvement from Genentech, may result in prescribers widely switching from Lucentis, developed for AMD, to Avastin, developed for cancer but which can be split into small doses for injection into the eye at a fraction of the cost. Lucentis was specifically tested for safety and efficacy in treating AMD and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006, but it is closely related to Avastin, which was approved for cancer in 2004 and since then widely prescribed by discretion by doctors "off label" beyond the officially authorised uses. With a single dose of Lucentis for AMD costing $2,000, many doctors have already switched to the use of the much larger concentration available in a single bottle of Avastin, which can then be split to cost only $40-75 for each injection, reducing total average treatment costs from $24,000 to $900. IMS argues that if CATT, the Institute's study, shows Avastin to be as safe and effective for AMD as Lucentis, it may pave the way for an increasing number of payers to take comparative drug studies out of the hands of the pharmaceutical companies, especially as databases of patients make it much easier to conduct such tests. But it warns that the move may create a disincentive for companies to study such areas, and creates untested areas of who would approve Avastin for AMD following a late-stage Phase 3 clinical trial which was conducted without any of the usual early-stage testing regulators usually require.
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/money/2008/01/25/bcn23andme.xml Google wife targets world DNA domination By Felix Lowe Last Updated: 11:54pm GMT 30/01/2008 Her husband is one of the world's richest men who has built up an internet empire that delivers and classifies digital information at the click of a mouse. The latest news and views from Davos Now Anne Wojcicki is planning to tap into the rise of online global networking to help people make sense of their own genetic information. Anne Wojcicki And if her business expectations are anything to go by, she shares much of the ambition and drive of her husband, the billionaire co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin. Co-founder of biotech company 23andme, Wojcicki has been at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to drum up interest in the European launch of the web-based DNA service. "We'd like to reach 98pc of the world, that is our goal," says Wojcicki from beside her fledgling company's booth on the first floor of the Belvedere Hotel. "You have to have high standards to get anywhere in life, and if genealogy continues at its current rate, what we're offering will soon become a standard part of people's lives." Named after the number of chromosomes that make up each person's genome, 23andme operates by analysing saliva samples to build up a picture of its clients' inherited traits, ancestry and, in time, personal disease risks. Customers send in their saliva - along with a hefty cheque for $999 - and four to six weeks later receive their results online. They have a personal profile set up outlining anything from their athletic ability to their food preferences and sleep habits. If they chose to do so, customers can then exchange their information with family and friends to build up a better understanding of both themselves and their ancestry. It may seem far-fetched, but Wojcicki, 33, and her 47-year-old business partner Linda Avey reckon their service represents the future of social networking. In the same way that the likes of MySpace, Facebook, You Tube and Flickr allow users to share information - in the shape of videos, photos or instant messaging - Wojcicki and Avey can see a time where people worldwide will share and compare their genetic details. The pair decline to say how many customers they've had since their launch in the US in November. "Amazing things are going to happen in the next five years or so," assures Wojcicki. "There will be an extraordinary evolution in our product and in genetics on the whole. After the success we've had in the US, Europe and Canada is the obvious next stage. "But genealogy is a global phenomenon and ultimately we're looking at the worldwide stage." But surely targeting 98pc of the world's 6.7bn population is pushing it a little, especially given lavish cost of the service? Linda Avey "It is an expensive product," concedes Avey, "but this is definitely the way of the future. The world is heading in the direction where everyone will soon have access to their genetic information. The interest shown in our service is already staggering, and technology costs will drop. They have already dropped 5,000 times in the last couple of years." The pair use the example of plasma TVs ("a novelty in the 90s") and mobile phones - both of which are now readily available across the globe at relatively little cost. 23andme has benefited itself from a $3.9m investment from Google and other investors include biotechnology corporation Genentech and New Enterprise Associates, a information technology and healthcare investments specialist. "Our investors have made things move much faster," says Wojcicki. "It's very empowering to have innovative companies that believe in you and understand the concept." Wojcicki says that while her husband has been extremely supportive of the business, he has abstained from any involvement so as not to create a conflict of interest. "23andme is very independent and committed to focusing on transparency," stresses Wojcicki. "The Google investment was so attractive because they are a huge company which is very good at organising the world's information. To them, genetics is just another form of information. "This whole project is about releasing information into the world, a way of putting valuable information in a more accessible format. "But privacy and the security of data is a primary concern to us, it's an on-going mission. Our service is as secure as it can be and we would never share data with Google or with anyone without the wishes of our customers." Wojcicki, who has a strong history of working in the healthcare sector, expects the social side of their product to drive demand, at least initially. "It's not that we're against the medical research side of things," she says. "On the contrary, that is where our long term interests lie. But the genetic profiles are in their preliminary stage and it's too early to be making predispositions and alarming people with the findings. It's the social networking side of things that will help the product take off." The 'I spat!' 23andme Davos beanie hats 23andme is using the opportunity of Davos - the annual jamboree of business leaders, politicians and assorted celebrities - to roadtest the product in Europe. A stand opposite the lift on the first floor of the Belvedere Hotel is an ideal platform from which to promote the service. "We're stopping everyone that comes past," says Wojcicki, armed with 1,000 free spit kits and some fetching grey beanie hats, emblazoned with the words 'I spat!'. "Early spitters" include the digital entrepreneur Esther Dyson - a board member of 23andme - and the supermodel Naomi Campbell. Thanks to the investment from the likes Google, 23andme is expanding rapidly and is constantly on the lookout for young, talented engineers, health experts and IT specialists. So doesn't Brin fit the bill? "Having someone like Sergey - with all his engineering skills and experience - working for me would add a lot of value," says Wojcicki, without a hint of irony. "We're doing our best to poach him. We've even offered to double his salary to two dollars, but so far we have not been successful in luring him away from Google."
Sun 18 Nov 2007 Vaccine breakthrough spin-out wins funding DOUGLAS FRIEDLI A COMPANY working on vaccine technology which could halt the spread of diseases such as Sars and prevent bird flu from affecting people has been spun out of Edinburgh's Moredun Research Institute. Big DNA has won funding from a London-based venture capital firm and Scottish Enterprise to develop its cheap and fast technique for creating vaccines. The company is the first spin-out from Moredun, which focuses on animal health. The team, led by chief executive John March, is working on a prototype vaccine for hepatitis B which could be on the market within two or three years. If that works, vaccines for fast-spreading viruses such as Sars will be developed next. A vaccine could also be developed to prevent bird flu from spreading to humans. Big DNA has had interest from pharmaceutical groups which are keen to license the technology for their own products. March said he was keen to recruit a full board of directors before signing the company's first major deal: "We have several deals on the table, and we have to decide whether they are any good or not. Once the management is in place we will start looking at commercial deals." The spin-out board includes Rhys Roberts, a scientist who worked at the Roslin Institute when it created Dolly the Sheep, and Willie Donachie, deputy director of the Moredun Research Institute. Traditional vaccination involves giving a patient a small dose of a disease organism, which the body then reacts against. Big DNA's technique involves using bacterial viruses called bacteriophages which contain the DNA, or genetic instructions, for the disease organisms. These are cheaper and quicker to produce but should result in the same level of immunity. This article: http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/business.cfm?id=1818572007 Last updated: 18-Nov-07 00:52 GMT
Roche Ag Genentech to halt dose-packaged sales of cancer drug Avastin for ocular use ZURICH (Thomson Financial) - Genentech Inc said it will stop sales of cancer drug Avastin for the treatment of eye diseases to compounding pharmacies, which repackage Avastin into doses for injection into the eyes, citing FDA concerns as its main reason for the move. In a letter posted on its website, the Roche subsidiary said it will stop that category of sales as of Jan 1. The company said the FDA raised concerns about the packaging of the drug for ocular use in a warning letter to a compounding pharmacy. Subsequently, in inspection of the company's South San Francisco manufacturing facility, inspectors also raised concerns related to the ongoing ocular use of Avastin, as it is not manufactured for that use. Over 350,000 vials of Avastin with a market value of over 200 mln usd were then destroyed, as they were deemed unsuitable. "The implication of this event was that future supplies of Avastin would likewise be at risk of having to be destroyed," said the company. Genentech sought to counter claims that the decision to block Avastin usage in the eye is motivated solely by profit, as it also makes a more expensive drug - Lucentis - that is used to treat eye diseases. "We did not and do not expect that this change in policy toward compounding pharmacies will lead to any increase in Lucentis sales," it said in the letter. It added that it will reinstate supply of Avastin to compounding pharmacies if the FDA gave the go-ahead. huimin.neo@thomson.com hmn/jms
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Roche Ag Genentech's 1 bln usd 4(2) CP programme assigned 'A-1+' rating - S&P MUMBAI (Thomson Financial) - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it has assigned its 'A-1+' short-term corporate credit and commercial paper ratings to biopharmaceutical company, Genentech Inc's new 1 bln usd 4(2) commercial paper programme. At the same time, S&P said it has affirmed all of its existing ratings on Genentech. The company will use the new programme for liquidity purposes and to help fund the acquisition of Tanox Inc, the ratings agency said in a statement. The investment-grade ratings reflect the company's success in developing and commercialising monoclonal antibody-based and targeted therapeutics, conservative financial policies and the positive influence of Switzerland-based majority owner Roche Holding AG, S&P said. The ratings agency has an 'AA+' and 'A-1+' rating on Roche with a stable outlook. TFN.newsdesk@thomson.com ndi/man
Genentech 3Q profit increases 21 percent SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Genentech Inc. barely beat Wall Street estimates for the third quarter, and many analysts are skeptical that world's second-largest biotech company can maintain its scorching momentum amid new competition and a saturated market. Genentech reported Monday that net profit in the three months ended Sept. 30 was $685 million, or 64 cents per share, up 21 percent from $568 million, or 53 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue was $2.91 billion, up 22 percent from $2.38 billion in the third quarter last year. Not counting expenses, including those related to the $919 million buyout of biotechnology company Tanox Inc. last quarter, the company earned $778 million, or 73 cents per share, up 22 percent from a year ago. On that basis, which does not comply with generally accepted accounting principles, analysts expected Genentech to earn 72 cents per share on revenue of $2.93 billion. Executives at the South San Francisco-based company said in a conference call Monday they were particularly happy about their $597 million in third-quarter sales of Avastin, which treats lung, breast and colon cancer. That's 37 percent more than in the year-ago quarter and several million dollars more than analysts had expected. Genentech's partner on Avastin, Swiss health care giant Roche, received European approval for the drug as a treatment for certain forms of lung cancer. Genentech is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration to use Avastin as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer, or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Genentech is also running tests to determine whether Avastin, also known as bevacizumab, is effective in "adjuvant therapy," the attempt to prevent the recurrence of a cancer after a tumor is surgically removed. But biotechnology analysts say such new uses are incremental and Avastin may have already saturated its primary market. "The double-edge sword of oncology is you get rapid adoption, but you tend to reach full saturation quickly," said Lehman Brothers equity analyst Jim Birchenough. He is forecasting net income growth of around 10 percent per year for several years -- far lower than the 20 percent or more that many investors are hoping for, based on the company's relatively lofty stock price-to-earnings ratio. Avastin -- which the FDA approved in February 2004 as the first drug to thwart new blood vessels from developing and carrying nutrients to a tumor -- is facing more competition. Britain's GlaxoSmithKline PLC announced in March that its Tykerb was approved for treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have received prior therapy. New York-based ImClone Systems Inc.'s Erbitux was also approved in 2004 to treat advanced colorectal cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. Analyst Eric Schmidt said Genentech is relying too heavily on Avastin, the company's only drug with a year-over-year growth rate of at least 30 percent. Total U.S. product sales were $2.16 billion, up 18 percent from the third quarter last year. "Avastin had good growth, but the others have hit a wall," said Schmidt, who works for equity research firm Cowen & Co. "The hope is that Avastin can lead the charge, but that's dependent on whether Avastin works in adjuvant therapy." Genentech's second biggest source of revenue, Rituxan, approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, brought in $572 million last quarter. That's up 12 percent from than a year ago. Sales of its breast cancer drug Herceptin rose 6 percent to $320 million. Genentech's macular degeneration drug Lucentis, approved in June 2006, had sales of $198 million, a 29 percent jump. Lucentis is designed to inhibit the formation and leakage of new blood vessels in the back of the eye, the primary cause of central vision loss. Sales of asthma drug Xolair increased 13 percent to $121 million. Xolair is designed to control asthma triggered by year-round allergens, and executives are bullish that the drug will soon be used to treat the growing incidence of pediatric asthma. Genentech spent $578 million on research and development, up 38 percent from the third quarter of last year. The company reaffirmed its outlook for full-year profit between $2.85 and $2.95 per share, excluding charges. Wall Street analysts were predicting earnings of $2.95 per share. Shares of Genentech gained 25 cents to $77.50 before the results were released at the end of regular trading. Genentech shares lost 70 cents after-hours. Sales leader Amgen Inc.'s shares fell 50 cents to $57.67 for a market capitalization of $62.7 billion. In after-hours trading, Thousand Oaks-based Amgen regained 50 cents. Genentech is the biggest biotechnology company based on market capitalization, valued at $81.6 billion. It has a price-to-earnings ratio -- a common measure of Wall Street's bullishness for a stock -- of 31.8. By contrast, Amgen's ratio is 16.6.
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