Roche said on Wednesday China had approved the import of its Kadcyla drug for breast cancer, another win for the Swiss drugmaker in its second-biggest market where rising demand has helped drive its increased sales and profit, reported Reuters.
Kadcyla, which also recently won expanded approval in the United States, Canada and Europe for more breast-cancer patients, is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), a class of therapies that combine monoclonal antibodies with cytotoxic chemical that in 2019 picked up momentum with a record number of US approvals.
Over a decade, China has gone from Roche’s 10th biggest market to its second-largest behind the United States, with 4.5 billion Swiss francs ($4.5 billion) in 2018 sales as more of its advanced medicines won Chinese regulators’ favor. The pace has accelerated, with growth in China topping 50% over the first nine months of 2019, about double 2018’s rate.
Roche reports 2019 results next week, and analysts are watching to see whether the pace of Chinese sales growth can be maintained.