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
  -0.50 -1.54% 32.00 30.00 34.00 33.10 32.00 32.50 63,675 09:00:30
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Equity Investment Instruments 0.0 -13.8 -32.4 - 14

Doric Nimrod Air One Share Discussion Threads

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Roche Chairman: Friendly Deal With Genentech Cuts Out Uncertainty ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) Chairman Franz Humer said Thursday that he was delighted to have reached a friendly deal to take over Genentech Inc. (DNA), because this will eliminate uncertainties for shareholders and employees and speed up the integration process. Roche said earlier Thursday it has reached a friendly deal with Genentech Inc. (DNA) to buy the 44% of the U.S. biotech company that it doesn't already own for around $46.8 billion. Humer said he was confident that most, if not all, senior Genentech managers will stay with the combined company. He also expects Genentech's scientists and other staff to stay on. Roche has the financing of the deal in place, he said, after the Basel-based drugmaker raised nearly $40 billion in bond markets in recent weeks. Company Web Site: http://www.roche.com -By Anita Greil, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8044 ; anita.greil@dowjones.com
UPDATE: Roche, Genentech Reach Friendly Deal, Worth $46.8 Billion By Anita Greil Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) said Thursday it has agreed with Genentech Inc. (DNA) to buy the 44% of the U.S. biotech company that it doesn't already own for around $46.8 billion. Roche, based in Basel, said it expects the transaction to be accretive to earnings in the first year after closing. The agreement ends a nearly eight month battle, in which Genentech repeatedly rejected Roche's offer. Last Friday, Roche increased the offer price to $93 a share. The agreement reached now is for a slightly higher price of $95 a share. "We believe this is a fair offer for Genentech shareholders," said Charles Sanders, chairman of a special committee of independent Genentech board members in a statement. "We look forward to working with Roche to complete the transaction as expeditiously as possible." Company Web site: www.roche.com -By Anita Greil, of Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8044; anita.greil@dowjones.com
Roche Doesn't Consider $112/Share Realistic For Genentech -Chairman BASEL -(Dow Jones)- Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) Chairman Franz Humer said Tuesday the Swiss drugmaker doesn't consider as realistic the $112 a share price for Genentech Inc. (DNA) proposed by directors of the biotechnology company as a condition to agree to a takeover. Humer was speaking to shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Basel, Switzerland. On Friday, Roche increased its offer to buy the roughly 44% of U.S. biotechnology company Genentech Inc. (DNA) it doesn't already own, in a deal worth around $45.7 billion. The price reflects a price of $93 per share. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two companies are close to agreeing a deal at a price of $95 per share. The bid was again rejected as too low by Genentech's special committee of independent board members. But Humer said assumptions on which the committee bases its asking price are flawed. "We feel the price proposed by the special committee, $112 per share, isn't based on realistic assumptions," Humer said. Overly optimistic assumptions include, the committee's view about the potential impact from follow-on biologics, or generic copies of biotechnology drugs that lost patent protection. The committee also overestimates productivity gains and the potential increase in success rates in research and development, he added. Roche also considers the committee's view on the market potential of cancer drug Avastin in new uses, and possibilities for price increases in the U.S. market as either inadequate or overly optimistic, Humer said. Roche has raised close to $40 billion through various bond offerings to finance the deal. Given that the Swiss drugmaker commands around $7 billion in liquid funds already, financing of the deal looks secure, analysts say. Company Web site: www.roche.com -By Anita Greil, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8044 ; anita.greil@dowjones.com
Roche Seen Likely To Win Genentech With Latest Offer By Anita Greil Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) is likely to succeed in fully taking over U.S. biotech company Genentech Inc. (DNA) after raising its offer price for the 44% of shares it doesn't already own in the U.S. biotechnology company, analysts said Monday. Seeking to conclude an eight-months battle to gain full control of Genentech, Roche on Friday increased its bid 7.5% to $93 a share and extended its tender offer to shareholders until March 20. The new offer values the deal at $45.7 billion. "The raised offer significantly increases the likelihood of a successful tender, while still preserving the assertiveness of the transaction for Roche," said David Kaegi, pharmaceutical analyst in Zurich with private bank Sarasin, who has a buy rating on the stock. Roche shares benefited from the market's newly-found belief in the takeover's success. At 1215 GMT, Roche shares were up CHF3.20, or 2.5%, at CHF132, while the Swiss market overall was lower. Genentech's Special Committee of independent directors again rejected Roche's offer as too low, but the chances that Roche will succeed have vastly increased with the new offer, many analysts said. "Roche has held a series of meetings with shareholders of Genentech in New York last week and the revised offer price may reflect the feedback gathered during these meetings," said Karl-Heinz Koch, pharmaceutical analyst in Zurich with independent broker Helvea, who has a buy rating on the stock. Roche, based in Basel, Switzerland, has raised around $36 billion at a cost of less than 5% through a series of bond issues in major currencies. Together with the roughly $7 billion in liquid funds that the drugmaker has on its balance sheet, it commands more than $43 billion in cash to finance the transaction, Koch estimates. Roche has said it would proceed with the offer only if more than half of the minority shareholders tender their shares by the new deadline. "The higher offering now increases the downside risk for Genentech shareholders should the Avastin adjuvant colorectal data be negative," Sarasin's Kaegi said. An interim analysis of the data is expected next month. If the study proves that Avastin, a top-selling cancer drug, works in early stages of cancer, the drug's potential sales would skyrocket, analysts say. A successful outcome of the study would also support the valuation of Genentech, though Roche has said the benefit of controlling Genentech aren't hinging on a successful outcome of the study. Company Web Site: http://www.roche.com -By Anita Greil, Dow Jones Newswires; +41 43 443 8044 ; anita.greil@dowjones.com
Roche Gains as Genentech Talk Eases Price Concerns (Update1) Email | Print | A A A By Dermot Doherty March 3 (Bloomberg) -- Roche Holding AG rose the most in almost three months in Zurich trading after analysts said a presentation by Genentech Inc. didn't turn up new evidence that could push the Swiss drugmaker to overpay for its partner. Roche climbed as much as 7.2 Swiss francs, or 5.8 percent, to 131.3 francs, the biggest gain since Dec. 8. Genentech shares fell 4.6 percent yesterday. Genentech executives, trying to show Roche should raise its $42.1 billion bid, said yesterday the biotechnology company may begin selling 15 new drugs by 2015 and introduce 24 new uses for existing medicines, including the cancer drug Avastin. "There were no surprises in Genentech's presentation," said Carri Duncan, an analyst at Sal. Oppenheim in Zurich. "They had the platform and I don't think they impressed." Roche shares dropped 6.7 percent yesterday on concern about Genentech's presentation. Duncan and investors say the Swiss drugmaker will need to raise its bid. A shareholder survey by Citigroup Inc. last month found that 92 percent of Genentech holders won't tender their shares at the current price of $86.50. The concern centers around how high Roche may need to go. "What Roche investors are worried about is if they overpay," said Duncan, who expects a deal at $90 a share or above. Genentech estimates the company is worth at least $112. Roche last year extended a tender for a fifth time and increased its offer by 19 percent to buy U.S. diagnostics company Ventana Medical Systems Inc. for $3.4 billion. To contact the reporter on this story: Dermot Doherty in Geneva at Ddoherty9@bloomberg.net Last Updated: March 3, 2009 07:26 EST
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source:ft Genentech directors push to reject Roche By Andrew Jack in London Published: February 24 2009 02:00 | Last updated: February 24 2009 02:00 The independent directors of Genentech, the US biotech group, last night formally advised shareholders to reject the $42bn buy-out of minorities by Roche of Switzerland, its majority owner, launched this month. In a letter to Genentech's shareholders, a "special committee" of three of its directors argued that Roche's original bid of $89 a share proposed to the board last July "substantially undervalues" the company, and that its revised hostile bid appealing directly to shareholders at $86.50 a share was "inadequate". They suggested that the two bids failed to reflect the valuation contained in Genentech's 2008 financial plan, its highly regarded scientists, robust pipeline and its long-standing commercial success. They pointed to supported evidence suggesting the price was inadequate from their adviser, Goldman Sachs, the investment bank. The directors, Charles Sanders, Herbert Boyer and Debra Reed, appeared to leave the door open to a higher bid, writing: "We remain committed to considering a proposal that recognises the full value of Genentech and reflects the significant benefits that Roche would enjoy as a result of full ownership." However, in an indication of growing tensions with Roche, the directors also stressed that Genentech was under no obligation to extend the exclusive option agreed in 1999 with its Swiss parent to grant it access to the company's pipeline of future products once it expires in 2015. In more detailed accompanying filings to the US Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday, they also highlighted a refusal by Roche and Greenhill, its advisers, to come back with a higher offer beyond the original $89-a-share bid unless they first proposed an indicative price. Their comments reflect a reply to Roche's formal offer document, which implicitly criticised the independent directors and their advisers for failing to respond more swiftly to the offer or suggest an alternative. The Genentech directors state that in late 2007 Franz Humer, Roche's chairman, approached Genentech to increase its stake and change anti-dilution rights, and warned in 2008 - ahead of the bid - that "there would be consequences" when the independent directors refused to agree these changes. They say Mr Humer subsequently agreed there would need to be efforts to retain top-level staff following the takeover, and said he believed a deal would be completed within a year of his original offer in July 2008. In a sign of a potentially long-drawn out fight, the independent directors say they have retained Goldman Sachs for fees which could ultimately reach $55m.
Roche CEO: Still Very Committed To Genentech Takeover ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) is still very committed to its intention of taking over the minority shareholdings of Genentech Inc. (DNA), Chief Executive Severin Schwan said Wednesday. Speaking in an interview with financial news channel CNBC Europe, Schwan rejected the notion that the new, lowered bid for Genentech was a "face-saving retreat." Friday Roche launched a hostile takeover bid for Genentech at $86.50 per share, after negotiations with a Genentech special committee failed to lead to a merger. Roche currently owns 55.8% of the Genentech outstanding shares. -By Hans Schoemaker, Dow Jones Newswires; +41-43-4438045; hans.schoemaker@dowjones.com
UPDATE: Genentech, Roche Say Tarceva, Avastin Combo Works By Anita Greil Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Genentech Inc. (DNA) and Roche Holding AG (ROG.VX) said a study examining the potential benefits of combining cancer drugs Tarceva and Avastin was stopped early because it became clear that people with lung cancer who received the treatment lived longer without their cancer getting worse, compared to those who received Avastin alone. Genentech, based in South San Francisco, CA, and Roche, based in Basel, said this was the second late-stage study that demonstrated the benefits of daily pill Tarceva as an initial maintenance therapy, following inital treatment with Avastin. Genentech sells both drugs in the U.S., while Roche has the right to sell them in other markets. Avastin is one of the companies' fastest-growing products. Shares of Genentech and OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc . (OSIP), which are selling Tarceva in the U.S. rose in after-hours trading Monday after Genentech gave details of the findings. Roche shares closed at CHF163.50 on Monday. The Swiss drugmaker plans to take full control of Genentech, which developed many of the successful cancer drugs that are driving Roche's growth. Last Friday, Roche launched a hostile bid to buy the roughly 44% of the U.S. biotech company that it doesn't already own, after its earlier friendly offer was rejected. Company Web Site: http://www.roche.com -By Anita Greil, Dow Jones Newswires; +41-43-4438044; anita.greil@dowjones.com
Why the Drop in Roche's Genentech Bid? by: Mike Huckman February 01, 2009 | about stocks: DNA / RHHBY.PK Mike Huckman Add to Your WatchlistAbout this author: Profile & More Articles Visit 'Pharma's Market' Visit CNBC.com Become a Contributor Submit an Article Font Size: PrintEmail TweetThis Genentech (DNA) shares dropped three percent Friday or $2.85 to $81.24 after Roche showed some chutzpah and lowered its bid for DNA. Recently, there'd been reports that the Swiss drugmaker, which already has a majority stake in the California biotech, was going to raise the offer to around $94. So, it was surprising and, some might say, shocking when Roche (RHHBY.PK) announced Friday morning that it was willing to pay $86.50 a share instead of the original $89. Late Friday, Genentech put out a press release urging shareholders to tell Roche to take a hike. Dr. Charles Sanders, the chairman of the special committee of the DNA Board of Directors that's been set up to deal with Roche, called Roche's move "unilateral and opportunistic...in an attempt to take advantage of current market conditions." But in a research note to clients, Bill Tanner at Leerink Swann said investors should take the money. "We believe the shares are fundamentally overvalued." Leerink Swann may trade in DNA. Other analysts and investors believe Genentech's stock could rally this spring when test results are expected on the cancer drug Avastin as an add-on treatment for colon cancer. If the data are good and the drug gets approved for that use, it could substantially increase Avastin sales. Genentech recently announced that the numbers could be available in April. I'm guessing it'll unveil the so-called topline data at that time and save the details to make a huge splash at this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. Geoffrey Meacham at JPMorgan says if that Avastin study goes well that Genentech shares could be worth more than a hundred bucks. "We do not expect the majority of shareholders to participate in this tender offer, where most of the core holders have held the stock for several years and are believers in the adjuvant (add-on Avastin colon cancer treatment) opportunity and the long-term value of the company." JPM has done and wants to do more investment banking for DNA and it makes a market in DNA options, which were apparently active Friday. And another Geoffrey...Geoffrey Porges at Sanford C. Bernstein writes, "This is clearly another high risk hardball negotiating strategy by Roche. We believe it has a significant risk of failing to impress sufficient Genentech independent shareholders to close the deal." A part of Bernstein owns at least one percent of DNA.
Roche Plans Direct Cash Offer Of USD86.50/Genentech Share Edited Press Release ZURICH -(Dow Jones)- Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche AG (ROG.VX) said Friday it intends to commence a cash tender offer for all outstanding publicly-held shares of Genentech at $ 86.50 per share. Roche, which currently owns 55.8% of the Genentech outstanding shares, expects to commence the tender offer within approximately two weeks. The offer replaces the public proposal made by Roche on July 21, 2008 to acquire all of the publicly-held shares of Genentech at a price of $ 89 per share in cash by means of a negotiated merger. After receiving Roche's original proposal, the Board of Directors of Genentech, with the full support of Roche, created a special committee comprised of independent directors to consider and respond to the Roche proposal. On August 13, 2008, the special committee announced its rejection of Roche's proposal. In light of the lack of progress towards an agreed transaction since then, Roche has now decided to make an offer directly to Genentech shareholders. Click here to go
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Roche Faces Big Decision On Genentech Bid As Key Data Loom By Thomas Gryta Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) has consistently reiterated its devotion to buying the 44% of Genentech Inc. (DNA) that it doesn't already own, but the potential early arrival of a key study means the company may have to decide its next step soon. If the Swiss drugmaker waits for the data regarding Genentech's flagship cancer drug Avastin, possibly coming in mid-April, and the results are considered a success, Roche risks paying significantly more than the already rejected offer of $89 a share. If the study fails, it could pay less. Roche can also decide not to take the gamble, but it needs to move soon to cut a deal with Genentech and get financing amid tight credit markets. "I honestly think it could be any day now," Robert Baird & Co. analyst Chris Raymond said, referring to his expectations for a higher bid. If a deal is reached soon, Wall Street generally expects it to be higher than $95 a share. A successful study could drive Genentech's value above $100, excluding any premium from a Roche offer, while its failure may actually bring Roche to lower its rejected offer from July. Shares of Genentech, recently at $83.94, have traded below the offer price since late September, after hitting a high of $99.14. The drop reflects doubts about Roche's ability to close the deal amid tight credit markets, rather than concerns related to the forthcoming study. Roche shares recently fell 1.22% to $36.30. Neither Roche nor Genentech would comment on the acquisition offer. Genentech's next few years will likely be driven by Avastin, which is approved to treat advanced breast, lung and colorectal cancer and had 2008 sales of $2.69 billion. The drug's future trajectory will be determined by its potential use in the adjuvant setting - when it is administered after cancer is surgically removed.Currently, Avastin is only used on cancer that has spread beyond its original site. Its use as an earlier treatment could add billions of dollars in sales, and the so-called C-08 study will be the first view of the drug's adjuvant use in colorectal cancer. The trial is being run by a third-party cooperative group and Genentech had expected the data to come in the middle of the year, but earlier this week disclosed it could be as early as mid-April. Most Wall Street analysts see colorectal adjuvant usage adding at least $1 billion in annual sales. Lazard Capital Markets recently estimated that adjuvant usage in breast, lung and colorectal cancer could ultimately bring more than $9 billion in additional annual sales. Genentech has acknowledged the importance of Avastin's adjuvant use to the drug's growth over the next three to five years, but also asserts that approval isn't essential. "I think people get understandably focused or even obsessed by the adjuvant result," said Ian Clark, executive vice president of commercial operations, in an interview last week. "I'm confident that we can continue to grow the business even without a positive adjuvant study." Back To The Wall The shorter timeline for the data's release puts Roche in the position of either raising its bid before such monumental data, or waiting to see the results and riding the inevitable shift in the value of the Genentech. "It's my view that both parties are incentivized to get this thing done before the data comes out," Raymond said. Roche recently said that the deal is on track, despite the ongoing financial crisis, and that it always expected the process to take a year from the original bid, according to The Wall Street Journal. But some believe that Roche always intended to close the deal before the announcement of the C-08 results, and now the timing shift has backed it into a corner. Some speculate that Roche will make a bid before releasing 2008 financial results on Feb. 4. Besides getting the approval of Genentech's independent board and from shareholders, Roche will have to line up financing amid the financial crisis. The deal would be huge: The original $44 billion offer goes up $500 million for every dollar added to the original $89-per-share bid. Analysts expect a deal somewhere above $95 per share, and many are aiming closer to $105 a share. The price to Roche is also higher as the U.S. dollar has strengthened against the Swiss Franc, adding 14% to the original bid in July, when Roche cited the weak dollar as a motivating factor for the deal. Rolling The Dice If Roche either can't get the deal done prior to the data, or it decides to take its chances, it is sure to provide a wild ride for Genentech shareholders. "If data are positive and Roche has not closed the deal, we suspect the price of Genentech will become too expensive for Roche to finance," said Morgan Stanley analyst Steven Harr. But success is not guaranteed, and negative data will likely have the opposite effect, possibly making Roche's previous $89-a-share offer look too expensive. "I don't know where Roche would come out in valuing Genentech at that point, but definitely it would be below $89," said RBC Capital Markets analyst Jason Kantor, noting that the original offer won't necessarily be on the negotiating table after the C-08 data because the independent board already rejected it. Any deal before the data release will likely include a large breakup fee or some other mechanism to avoid a renegotiation after the news comes out. In the meantime, until the data, most on Wall Street don't expect major changes to Genentech's share price as most investors are well aware of the risks regarding the deal and the study. "You are kind of crazy to own the stock if you don't think that the data is going to be positive," Kantor said. -By Thomas Gryta, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2053; thomas.gryta@dowjones.com
J.P.Morgan: Analyse de Roche 16/01/2009 - 11:48 - (Bolsamania) - Roche Genentech cautious 2009 Guidance should strengthen Roche's negotiation position – ALERT Yesterday, Genentech provided 2009E earnings guidance significantly below consensus. This should reduce the scope for Genentech's board of Directors to push for a significantly higher bid from Roche than the $89 they have already rejected. Importantly, the gap from guidance to consensus estimates can be attributed largely to well known headwinds that are already reflected in our current published Roche and Genentech estimates. In our view the shortfall of the guidance compared to consensus does not point to an unexpected deterioration of the Genentech operating performance, but rather to expectations by biotech investors that may have run ahead of themselves (to justify a request for a higher bid from Roche?). Reiterate Overweight rating for Roche. Genentech reported 4Q'08 results broadly in line with consensus (if retention payment are stripped out) but provided a relatively cautious outlook for 2009, guiding towards a 2009 non-GAAP EPS range of $3.55-3.90, implying y-o-y EPS growth ranging from +4 to +14%. 2009 guidance is in line with our Genentech projections in our published Roche model (2009E: $3.58), but significantly below consensus of $3.92. It appears that Genentech bulls may not have taken into account several known headwinds affecting Genentech's 2009E bottom line: (1) lower Rituxan royalties from Roche, (2) lower Herceptin collaborator sales to Roche, (3) FX headwinds on the royalty line (rather than the tailwind seen in recent years), (4) retention payments of $0.11 per share. Importantly, those headwinds have no effect on our Roche estimates: Rituxan royalty and Herceptin payments don't affect the Roche consolidated group figures whereas FX effects and retention payment are already reflected in our Roche estimates. (Note, Roche IFRS numbers do not add back either stock option expense or retention payments to earnings, in contrast, Genentech adds back stock options expenses to non-GAAP earnings, but deducts retention payments from non-GAAP estimates, due to their cash nature.) Potential Raptiva withdrawal is the only new element that may negatively affect Genentech as well as Roche 2009E bottom line, with a potential negative EPS impact of $0.05 for Genentech or 0.3% on Roche EPS. We expect to learn in coming weeks to what extend this risk will materialise, as discussions with regulators about two cases of PML progress.
Genentech Rises on Report of Higher Roche Buyout Bid (Update2) Email | Print | A A A By Angela Zimm Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Genentech Inc. rose 2.3 percent in New York trading on a Financial Times report that Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG is preparing to raise its bid for the biotechnology company to $95 a share. The South San Francisco, California-based Genentech rose $1.94, to $86.34, at 4:03 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The $95-a-share offer is likely to be presented to Genentech's board in February, according to the FT.com report, which didn't cite a source. Roche, based in Basel, Switzerland, offered $43.7 billion, or $89 a share, on July 21 for the 44 percent of Genentech it doesn't own already. Genentech rejected that bid as too low, although the company said it is open to talks. "There's no way to know how credible this report is," said BMO Capital Markets analyst Jason Zhang, in a telephone interview. "Roche is serious about this, they want to finish the deal, but $95 isn't high enough to get the deal done. You have to get above $100 a share." A Genentech spokesman, Geoff Teeter, declined to comment on the report. Chief Executive Officer Arthur D. Levinson didn't reply to e-mailed requests for comment. "We do not comment on market rumors," said Martina Rupp, a Roche spokeswoman. The acquisition would enable Roche to boost its share of profit from the cancer drugs Avastin and Herceptin, which generated a combined $10 billion in global sales last year, according to Zhang. To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Zimm in Boston azimm@bloomberg.net Last Updated: January 9, 2009 16:14 EST
Genentech Says Eye Injuries Tied to Avastin in Canada (Update2) Email | Print | A A A By David Olmos Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Genentech Inc. said it had received 36 reports of eye inflammation in Canadian patients who were given the cancer-drug Avastin to treat eye diseases. The cases were reported in November by four different sites, Genentech, of South San Francisco, California, said in a letter to physicians posted today on its Web site. The injuries developed when doctors used Avastin to treat macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, or diabetic retinopathy, the company said. Avastin isn't approved for use in the chronic eye diseases. Doctors prescribed Avastin to treat macular degeneration before Genentech's Lucentis was approved for the illness in 2006. Both drugs target a chemical signal that triggers blood- vessel growth known as vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF. Some ophthalmologists prefer using Avastin, which is injected into a patient's eye, because it costs less than Lucentis. "Physicians have the right to prescribe any drug off label," said Krysta Pellegrino, a Genentech spokeswoman, in a telephone interview today. "We don't interfere with a physician's prescribing choices. We believe Lucentis is the most appropriate treatment for macular degeneration." Genentech described 32 of the 36 reported cases as involving "serious" inflammatory reactions. The company doesn't know if any of the cases resulted in permanent eye damage, Pellegrino said. "We don't have full details of all the individual cases," she said. Avastin, which is Genentech's biggest product with sales of $2.3 billion in 2007, is approved for patients with cancers that have spread beyond the breast, colon and lung. To contact the reporter on this story: David Olmos in San Francisco at dolmos@bloomberg.net. Last Updated: December 19, 2008 15:43 EST
HEALTH BLOG WSJ's blog on health and the business of health. Blog Search: < Problems in Primary Care Drive ER Crowdi[...] -- Previous | SEE ALL POSTS FROM THIS BLOG | December 3, 2008, 10:54 am Genentech Carries On, as Roche Deal Simmers on Back Burner Posted by Ron Winslow Roche's blockbuster bid for the portion of Genentech it doesn't own has stalled amid the credit crisis and stock market plunge, and concern persists over the impact of the proposed transaction on the biotech pioneer's culture and productivity. Not to worry - at least for now, said Stephen Kelsey, the company's VP for clinical hemotology/oncology. The Health Blog dropped in on the Genentech presentation this morning at Piper Jaffray's annual health care conference in Manhattan where Kelsey said Roche's $44 billion offer hasn't had any discernible effect on employee retention or morale. People come to Genentech because it's a good place to work and because they believe the work is important, he said. "Until that changes, they'll continue to work there." A big employee retention program the company announced shortly after the bid may have helped. Kathee Littrell, VP for investor relations, added that business development deals haven't been affected either. A special committee of Genentech's board rejected Roche's $89-a-share bid in August as substantially under-valuing the company, but opened the door to a higher bid. With the company's shares currently trading at around $73, the market seems to be saying there won't be a deal anytime soon. Neither Kelsey nor Littrell had any comment on the status of the proposed transaction itself. Perhaps more pressing is how biotech-friendly, or not, the incoming Obama adminstration and a heavily Democratic Congress will prove to be. One worry, Kelsey said, is the details of expected legislation to pave the way for approval of generic biotech drugs - the industry likes to call them follow-on biologics. (We still call them generics.) Genentech, like its biotech brethren believes companies companies wanting to bring, say, a Herceptin knockoff to market should be required to prove its similarity to the real McCoy with data from a substantial clinical trial-not just a relatively simple lab analysis that is required to get conventional generics to the market. High on the list of other concerns, Kelsey said, are the potential that medicare would be allowed to negotiate prices with drugmakers and whether NICE in the U.K. becomes a model for assessing value of drugs in the U.S. Photo: Associated Press
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