Roche could soon be knocked off its throne as the king of oncology

April 29, 2019

Although the market for cancer drugs is projected to expand, the industry’s No. 1 oncology drugmaker is being elbowed out of the market by more competitors.  

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Roche has been the top dog in oncology since 2002, aided by a 2009 acquisition of Genentech. But as the market has expanded, Roche has seen its slice of the pie shrink. In particular, Roche is projected to lose its top position to Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene, after the companies complete their merger. 

In the next few years, Roche will also take a hit from generics and biosimilars competition for its top-selling therapies: Herceptin, Avastin and Rituxan. All told, the company’s oncology portfolio comprises about 60 percent of the company’s pharmaceutical revenue — and in the next six years, analysts at EvaluatePharma project that revenue from company’s cancer drugs will fall by 12 percent. 

Roche has been developing therapies in other markets to help fill the gap, such as Ocrevus, a new drug for multiple sclerosis. But the company maintains that it is still committed to investing in developing its cancer portfolio.

Read the full WSJ report.