GenEng News  Oct 1  Comment 
Arvinas signed a license agreement with Genentech for the development of new therapeutics using Arvinas' PROTAC technology covering multiple disease targets. Arvinas will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible to receive...
FierceBiotech  Oct 1  Comment 
Fresh on the heels of its inclusion in this year's Fierce 15, New Haven, CT-based Arvinas has pulled the wraps off a new partnership with Genentech that comes with a $300 million package of milestones.
Benzinga  Sep 28  Comment 
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (OTC: RHHBY), today announced positive results from a pivotal Phase III study that evaluated the investigational medicine ocrelizumab in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis...
Benzinga  Sep 27  Comment 
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (OTC: RHHBY), today announced early results from a pivotal Phase II study, IMvigor 210, of the investigational cancer immunotherapy atezolizumab (anti-PDL1; MPDL3280A) in people with...
Benzinga  Sep 9  Comment 
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (OTC: RHHBY), announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted the company's New Drug Application (NDA) and granted Priority Review for alectinib, an oral...
newratings.com  Sep 4  Comment 
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (dpa-AFX) - Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (RHHBY), Friday said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted breakthrough therapy designation to ACE910 (RG6013, RO5534262) for the prophylactic treatment of people...
FierceBiotech  Aug 28  Comment 
Welcome to this week's Chutes and Ladders, our roundup of hirings and retirings throughout the industry.
FierceBiotech  Aug 27  Comment 
Genentech has agreed to lend its closely-watched checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab to Syndax for a combo study with the Waltham, MA-based biotech's lead drug entinostat for triple-negative breast cancer, just three days after Syndax landed an $80...
GenEng News  Aug 26  Comment 
Syndax Pharmaceuticals said today it will partner with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in a combination cancer immunotherapy clinical trial. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed. The Phase Ib/II trial will be designed to...
FierceBiotech  Aug 24  Comment 
AstraZeneca has filled the vacancy at the head of its R&D organization. Sean Bohen is set to take up the post next month after being persuaded to swap a position at the heart of early-stage R&D at Genentech for a chance to guide AstraZeneca's...


Genentech (NYSE: DNA) is a biotech company focused on cancer treatments. Auto-immune drug Rituxan and cancer drugs Avastin and Herceptin are the company's best-selling drugs and account for more than half of revenue. The company has been number one in U.S. oncology sales since 2006.[1]

On July 21, 2008, Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche offered to buy Genentech completely for $43.7 billion, or $89 per share. Roche already owns a 55 percent stake in the company.[2] Genentech had rejected the first offer as too low, but on January 30, 2009, Roche submitted another bid, this time hostile. Roche offered shareholders $86.50 a share, down from the previous $89. [3]

Company Overview

Annual revenue has grown by 77 percent in two years, from $6.6 billion in 2005 to $11.7 billion in 2007. [4] FDA approval of new uses of the major drugs Avastin, Rituxan, and Herceptin has boosted sales -- in 2007, sales of Avastin increased by 31%, Rituxan by 10%, and Herceptin by 4%, compared to the previous year.[5] Net income and profit margins have steadily grown as the company's core products transitioned from development to the market.

82% of total revenue comes from product sales and the rest from licensing agreements.

Product name 2007 Product sales ($M)[5] Medical application
Avastin 2,296 Colorectal and lung cancer
Rituxan 2,285 Lymphomas
Herceptin 1,287 Breast cancer
Lucentis 815 Age-related macular degeneration
Xolair 472 Second-line asthma treatment for patients who do not respond well to inhaled corticosteroids
Total sales 9,442

Trends and Forces

Drug Development Costs and Risks

Developing a new biotherapeutic product is a time-consuming, costly, and inherently risky endeavor. Hundreds of thousands of candidate compounds must be screened to identify a handful of potential drugs. Even fewer of these candidate drugs are found to be effective at treating a disease. The drug must then pass strict safety standards in several series of clinical trials. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America's 2006 Pharmaceutical Industry Profile, developing a new drug and bringing it to the market takes up to 10 to 15 years and on average costs $800 million.

As of the end of 2007, Genentech's product pipeline included 20 new molecules in development.[6]

Off-Label and Newly-Approved Drug Prescriptions

Even after a drug has been approved and on the market for some time, physicans and pharmaceutical companies continue to observe and understand its properties. Physicians often discover new uses for the drug, and even though the drug may not be approved by the FDA to treat a certain disease, doctors may write off-label prescriptions. Pharmaceutical companies may follow up with clinical studies and seek formal FDA approval. Genentech has benefited greatly from this effect. For example, Avastin, originally a colorectal cancer drug, is also used by lung, breast, and ocular cancer patients. A recent study suggests that Avastin may also be effective in treating a common and aggressive form of brain cancer.

Incidence of Cancer

As vaccines and cures have eliminated many fatal diseases of the past, cancer has emerged as the second-largest cause of death in developed countries and the third-largest cause of death worldwide. As two of Genentech's most successful products are the cancer drugs Avastin and Herceptin, the company will benefit from this growing trend.


Competitors to Genentech's major drugs include:

  • Xolair -- numerous inhaled corticosteroids on the market


  1. DNA Annual Report pg. 5  
  2. Roche Offers to Buy 45% Stake in Genentech.
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/31/business/31gene.html?hp
  4. DNA Annual Report pg. 20  
  5. 5.0 5.1 DNA Annual Report pg. 23  
  6. DNA Annual Report pg. 2  
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