Company: Roche ($RHHBY)
Patent expiration date: December 14, 2013
Estimated Global Sales 2012: $1.62 billion
The scoop: Xeloda has been around for more than a dozen years but continues to be a solid performer. The oral chemotherapy drug for breast and colorectal cancers saw sales grow 19% in 2011 on top of 13% growth in 2010. It is also in the enviable position of having no generic competition yet lined up against it. Roche settled a patent fight with Mylan ($MYL) last year. It granted the generics company a license, but the terms were undisclosed, so, it's not publicly known when Mylan will launch its version. And when it does, Roche's new experimental drug T-DM1 may be there to fill the vacuum. Studies of that drug show an improved overall survival rate and fewer side effects in breast cancer. The peak potential sales of it have been pegged at $5 billion.