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Genentech announces 12 percent year-on-year profit increase


SAN FRANCISCO Genentech has released its first-quarter 2008 earnings and for the quarter, the company’s profits rose by 12 percent compared to last year, according to published reports.

The company earned $790 million compared to $706 million a year ago for the quarter which ended on March 31. Not including expenses, the company earned $895 million.

Revenue was $3.06 billion in the quarter, an increase of 8 percent from $2.84 billion a year ago.

Sales of Genentech’s top two cancer drugs, Avastin and Rituxan, both rose 13 percent. But Avastin’s numbers disappointed analysts, who were expecting an even greater rise after its surprise February approval by the Food and Drug Administration to treat metastatic breast cancer. The drug was already approved to treat colon and lung cancer.

Avastin’s sales rose to $600 million, compared to $533 million in sales for the first quarter of 2007. The drug brought in a total of $2.3 billion last year.

Sales of Rituxan, which treats non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, also rose 13 percent to $605 million in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. Breast cancer fighter Herceptin posted first-quarter 2008 sales of $339 million, up 9 percent from a year ago.

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