Roche Looks to Expand Diabetes Business – China a Big Driver with 16% Sales Rise

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Contrary to claims that they want to sell or spin it off, Roche said it is looking to expand its $2 billion-per-year diabetes business.

According to Reuters:

Diagnostics division head Roland Diggelmann on Wednesday dismissed reports the Swiss drugmaker was considering options for the diabetes business he oversees, calling them “false.”

Speculation may have been triggered by Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) announcement last week that it aims to divest a similar unit, he said.

Instead, Diggelmann is hunting for technologies outside his company to potentially bolster a portfolio that now includes glucose monitoring products and insulin pumps as he seeks to arrest a revenue slump heading into its third year.

“We basically have all of the technologies we need in-house in varying degrees of development, so we have to ask ourselves, ‘How far are we along?'” Diggelmann said in an interview. “We’re looking around: Are there new possibilities, are there alternatives?”

CHINA DEMAND

One bright spot for the business was Asia, where a 16 percent sales rise was primarily driven by China. Diggelmann estimates 100 million people in China may be diabetics, with only a small proportion diagnosed.

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