JPM24: Roche says rebound in hematology sparked by potential of newly approved Lunsumio, Columvi

After Roche went through a period of declining sales in hematology—as powerhouse Rituxan faced biosimilar competition and follow-on Gazyva failed to live up to its blockbuster expectations—the company is rebounding quickly in blood cancer.

The rise of hemophilia A blockbuster Hemlibra and antibody-drug conjugate Polivy have helped stem the tide. Newer T-cell engagers Lunsumio and Columvi, both approved over the last 14 months, will continue to fuel the turnaround, Roche said in a corporate update (PDF) Tuesday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

The Swiss company estimates sales of its hematology products are on track for a 14% compound annual growth rate through 2026.

Much of the growth is attributed to the potential of Lunsumio, for follicular lymphoma (FL), and Columvi, for diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The bispecifics are off to strong launches in their third-line indications, Roche said.

The company is looking forward to expanding the reach of the treatments. Lunsumio is undergoing phase 3 studies in first-line FL, second-line FL alongside chemotherapy and second-line DLBCL as a combo agent with Polivy.

As for Columvi, it is in phase 3 testing for relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma, second-line DLBCL with chemotherapy and first-line DLCBL as a combo agent with Polivy and chemotherapy.

As for the portfolio overall, Roche touted its depth and diversity of products. The company had 16 blockbuster drugs in 2022, compared to seven in 2012.

A recent report from Evaluate backs up the company’s upward trajectory, estimating its sales will increase by nearly $4 billion in 2024. The analysts identified multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus, cancer treatment Tecentriq and Hemlibra accounting for a large part of Roche’s expected jump this year.

Overall, Evaluate pegs 17 Roche products as blockbusters in 2024 and slot the company as No. 1 in sales for the year, nosing out Johnson & Johnson, Merck, AbbVie and Pfizer. Evaluate sees each of the companies delivering revenue of between $50 billion and $55 billion this year.