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Roche to Maintain Growth With New Drug: CEO

Source: Roche

A new cancer drug being trialed by Swiss Drugmaker Roche Holding will present a key opportunity for the company in the coming months, Roche CEO Severin Schwan told CNBC Tuesday.

"It's a very big opportunity. Perjeta is a new novel medicine which is combined with Herceptin and clinical data is very exciting.

We'll present more data at an upcoming conference but we've seen good uptake in the United States where it has just been released, " Schwan said.

He admitted that price pressure was less of a factor for Roche than for other pharmaceutical companies within Europe.

On average it stands at around 5 percent on sales but for Roche was just 2 percent.

"It's at a much lesser extent for us in Europe so the innovation of our medicine and the clinical benefit we provide to our patients protects us somewhat on that front, " he added.

The Swiss drugmaker confirmed its full year outlook Tuesday after strong sales of cancer drugs in the third quarter and a weaker Swiss franc against the dollar and Japanese yen.

Earlier this year the drugmaker abandoned its $6.8 billion bid for U.S. company Illumina, a gene-sequencing company after negotiations stalled.

"Sequencing is one of the business areas that we continue to invest in both externally and internally and we have a number of existing collaborations, " Schwan said but would not be drawn on Illumia specifically.

"We see our trend of solid growth in the U.S. into 2013, slightly declining market in Europe but double digit growth in the emerging markets, " Schwan added.

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