Roche and oncology
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche (RHHBY) is a leading pharmaceutical company that focuses on development through innovation and biotechnology. Roche’s business includes its Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics segments.
Roche’s Pharmaceutical business includes therapeutic areas like oncology, neuroscience, infectious diseases, immunology, hematology, and ophthalmology.
There are more than 250 types of cancer identified so far. Cancer is the second-largest cause of death worldwide, mainly due to the limitations in diagnosis restricting the disease’s treatment.
Roche’s Pharmaceuticals business comprises more than 77% of the company’s total revenues. The Diagnostics business comprises ~22.5% of Roche’s total revenues. The Oncology Products portfolio contributes ~60% of total revenues for Roche.
Oncology Products portfolio
Roche’s key oncology products include MabThera/Rituxan, Herceptin, and Avastin.
- Avastin is used in combination with other drugs for the treatment of colorectal, breast, and lung cancer, as well as advanced renal cell carcinoma. The drug reported revenues of ~1.7 billion Swiss francs in 2Q16.
- Herceptin is used in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer and gastric cancer. The drug reported revenues of ~1.7 billion Swiss francs in 2Q16.
- MabThera is used in the treatment of many cancers related to the lymphatic system. This is Roche’s top-selling drug, contributing ~15% of the company’s total revenues. For 2Q16, the drug reported revenues of ~1.9 billion Swiss francs.
Roche’s other products include:
- Tarceva: used in the treatment of lung and pancreatic cancer
- Zelboraf: used in the treatment of BRAF V600 metastatic melanoma
- Kadcyla: used in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer
- Alecensa: used in the treatment of ALK+ metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
- Tecentriq: the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of bladder cancer
For diversified exposure to individual pharmaceutical companies, investors can consider ETFs like the SPDR S&P International Health Care ETF (IRY), which holds ~9.4% of its total investments in Roche Holdings.