Thankfully for Genentech
Genentech reported yesterday that its first-quarter overall revenue rose nearly 8%. Its top drugs, including cancer treatments Avastin and Rituxan, posted blowout double-digit sales growth. Genentech's No. 3 drug, Herceptin, even eked out a small sales gain, despite registering almost no competition from GlaxoSmithKline's
Genentech's in-house Avastin sales now account for 20% of its revenue, so the drug's ultimate fortunes should have an outsized impact on Genentech's prospects. Earlier in the year, Genentech received a somewhat surprising accelerated FDA approval to market Avastin for breast cancer. Phase 3 studies currently under way should soon yield data that will further help decide Avastin's place in breast-cancer treatment.
Last week, Genentech told doctors that it found some safety issues in a phase 1 study testing Avastin in combination with Pfizer's
While the company gets kudos for continuing to grow its top-line revenue, GAAP net income for the quarter only gained 4.7% year over year, and earnings rose only $0.03 per share, to $0.73. Drugmakers like Johnson and Johnson