Roche’s $7 Billion Drug Sales At Risk?

by Trefis Team
Roche Holdings
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Roche’s (NASDAQ:RHHBY) Avastin is the leader in the renal cancer drugs market. Renal cancer, or kidney cancer, is an important market for pharmaceutical companies, with over 73,000 new cancer cases expected in the U.S. alone in 2020. Apart from Avastin, other approved drugs for renal cancer include Novartis’ Afinitor, and Pfizer’s Sutent. Avastin’s period of market exclusivity ended in 2019, and it will likely see a decline in sales over the next few years. In fact, biosimilars for Avastin have already been approved by the U.S. FDA. Based on our estimates, Avastin could lose close to $1.5 billion in annual sales by 2021. For perspective, this would be around 3% of the company’s 2018 pharmaceuticals revenue. Below we show Avastin sales, and compare it to other drugs for renal cancer.  Note that some of the drugs mentioned below could be approved for multiple disorders, and the sales figures represent the total revenues. Look at our interactive dashboard analysis ~ How Does Roche’s Avastin Compare With Other Renal Cancer Drugs? ~ for more details.

Roche’s Avastin Is The Top Selling Renal Cancer Drug, Followed By Novartis’ Afinitor And Pfizer’s Sutent

  • Avastin sales declined from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2017, but moved up to $7.0 billion in 2018, primarily led by higher sales in China.
  • Novartis’ Afinitor sales have hovered around the $1.5 billion mark over the past few years.
  • Pfizer’s Sutent saw sales decline from $1.2 billion in 2014 to $1.0 billion in 2018.
  • Similarly, Bayer’s Nexavar saw sales decline from $1.0 billion to $0.8 billion over the same period.
  • Novartis’ Votrient saw sales grow from $565 million in 2015 to $828 million in 2018.
  • Pfizer’s Inlyta saw sales decline from $410 million to $298 million between 2014 and 2018.

Combined Sales of Renal Cancer Drugs Above Grew From $11.3 Billion In 2014 To $11.5 Billion In 2018. Avastin’s Share Declined Slightly From 63% To 60% During The Same Period, And It Could Decline To 55% Over The Next Few Years, As It Will Face Biosimilar Competition.

Avastin’s Market Exclusivity Period Ended In 2019, While Sutent Is Protected Till 2021

  • Market Exclusivity End Period:
    • Avastin (Roche): 2019
    • Sutent (Pfizer): 2021
    • Inlyta (Pfizer): 2025
    • Votrient (Novartis): 2021

Avastin Is One of The Top Selling Drugs For Roche, But Heading For A Decline

  • Avastin garnered $7.0 billion in sales in 2018, and an estimated $7.3 billion in 2019, accounting for close to 15% of the company’s total pharmaceutical revenue.
  • However, its contribution is expected to decline over the next few years, as it faces biosimilar competition from the likes of Pfizer (See how much revenue could Roche’s Avastin lose to its biosimilar Zirabev from Pfizer).
  • Despite bisoimilar competition for Avastin, Roche’s pharmaceutical sales are expected to continue to grow from $47.5 billion in 2018 to $49.3 billion in 2021, led by the company’s relatively new drugs, including Perjeta, Tecentriq, and Ocrevus. In fact, we estimate that Roche can add $5 billion in new sales by 2021 in the oncology segment alone.
  • As such, with growth in Roche’s pharmaceutical sales, and decline in Avastin sales, Avastin’s contribution to Roche’s pharmaceutical sales will likely decline from 15% currently to 11% in 2021.

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