Revenues 2012: 45.5 billion Swiss francs (about $47.8 billion)
Revenues 2011: 42.531 billion Swiss francs (about $45.214 billion)

When it comes to revenue streams, Roche ($RHHBY) is among the most specialized in Big Pharma. And that's fitting, given that it's focusing on personalized healthcare. With diagnostics and targeted drugs, Roche wants to narrow treatment choices down for each patient. And that's about as specialized as it gets.

Just one number shows how focused Roche is: 61%. That's the portion of its pharma group's 2012 sales derived from oncology. Given that a fair chunk of its diagnostics business is also in cancer, the Swiss drugmaker has invested a lot into--and earned a lot from--the disease.

Roche's top-selling drug last year was Rituxan/MabThera, at 6.7 billion Swiss francs or more than $7 billion. Herceptin comes in second with 5.89 billion francs, and Avastin close behind that with 5.76 billion francs. That's about $20 billion altogether. Pegasys and Xeloda round out the top 5 with 1.65 billion francs and 1.52 billion francs, respectively. All but Pegasys, a hepatitis treatment, are cancer drugs. (Rituxan is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.)

Outside of oncology, there's another 13.7 billion francs' worth of pharma sales, with anti-virals and anti-inflammatories each taking the biggest share of that. Total pharma sales: 35.23 billion Swiss francs, or about $37.5 billion, up 5% over 2011.

Obviously, targeted therapies depend on diagnostic tests to identify the right patients for treatment. And on the diagnostics side of Roche's business, sales amounted to 10.3 billion Swiss francs. Among its top-selling products are machines that handle immunoassays and test for viruses, and reagents for tissue testing. The division grew by 4% last year.

Roche CEO Severin Schwan--courtesy of the Roche Group.

That rate could have been a lot higher if Roche had succeeded in buying the gene-sequencing company Illumina. Early in 2012, the company made a $6 billion hostile bid for the U.S.-based company and its gene-sequencing machines. Though Roche sweetened that bid to $6.8 billion, its offer ended up failing. CEO Severin Schwan says he's still aiming to invest in the sequencing business, either by building up internally or making a deal elsewhere.

Toward the end of 2012, Roche won approval for yet another cancer drug: Perjeta, designed to be used in tandem with Herceptin in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. Early in 2013 came an even bigger coup, the approval of Kadcyla, formerly known as T-DM1. It's an "armed antibody" drug that delivers chemotherapy directly to cancer cells. Roche has another 8 of these antibody-drug conjugates in phase III development and a total of 25 in its pipeline.

Meanwhile, Roche is working on 200 collaborations between its pharma and diagnostics divisions, and it says all its new cancer drug projects include biomarker development as well.

For more:
Roche bucks generics-erosion trend with 4% sales hike
Roche Diagnostics leaps 4% in 2012, snags 20% market share
Bullish Roche talks targeted takeovers, showcases T-DM1's prospects
Roche spotlights top blockbuster bets as it showcases R&D
Cancer drugs lift Roche sales as charges slash earnings


Suggested Articles

Pfizer's diagnosis-focused launch strategy for Vyndaqel and Vyndamax is paying off with the meds reaching thousands of patients already.

A phase 1 study of the Inlyta-Keytruda regimen, which bears a first-line nod for kidney cancer, got the ax along with several Bavencio tests.

With its Eli Lilly-partnered Olumiant nearing filing in atopic dermatitis, Incyte's other JAK med Jakafi is also looking for a win in that indication.