First quarter with 2% growth in Swiss francs, 7% at constant exchange rates

Basel, 22 April 2020

  • Group sales increase 2% in Swiss francs and 7%1 at constant exchange rates, driven by new products, more than compensating for impact of competition from biosimilars
  • Pharmaceuticals Division sales up 7%, led by Tecentriq, Hemlibra, Ocrevus and Perjeta
  • Diagnostics Division sales grow 5%, with molecular testing as main contributor
  • Important approvals in the first quarter:
    • in China: Tecentriq for first-line combination therapy of extensive-stage small cell lung cancer
    • in the US: CINtec Plus Cytology test and cobas HPV test for use on cobas 6800/8800 Systems for cervical cancer screening
    • in the EU: Polivy in combination with bendamustine and MabThera/Rituxan, for the treatment of adult patients with a special form of B-cell lymphoma
    • in the EU: Venclexta/Venclyxto in combination with Gazyva/Gazyvaro for adults with previously untreated chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  • Based on the current assessment of the COVID-19 impact the outlook for 2020 is confirmed

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Volatility in some markets has limited impact on business performance in the first quarter
  • Global supply chain for medicines and tests remain intact
  • FDA issued Emergency Use Authorization for the cobas SARS-CoV-2 test (coronavirus) for detection of infection with the virus; test also available in markets accepting the CE mark
  • Production capacity for cobas SARS-CoV-2 test ramped up massively
  • Clinical phase III study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Actemra/RoActemra in severe COVID-19 pneumonia ongoing in several countries. Results are expected in early summer. Rapid increase of production capacity for Actemra/RoActemra
  • Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test to detect antibodies in people exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in late stage development with availability aimed for early May. Monthly production is ramped up to high double-digit million tests by June with further scale up as fast as possible.

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