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FDA Approves Roche Subsidiary's Treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

- By Alberto Abaterusso

Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) subsidiary Genentech announced Wednesday that its Venclexta treatment has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Venclexta was approved for use in combination with either a hypomethylating agent or low-dose cytarabine for the treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The drug is designed for newly-diagnosed patients who are 75 years of age or older or for those patients who are unfit to receive an intensive induction chemotherapy.


AML is an aggressive form of leukemia. It has the lowest survival rate compared to all other types of leukemia. The disease is more common in men than in women and in adults older than 60.

The treatment, whose approval was based on the M14-358 and M14-387 studies, was developed by Genentech in collaboration with AbbVie Inc. (ABBV). The product is also commercialized by both companies.

Roche was at $31 per share at close on Wednesday with a market capitalization of about $212.5 billion, a price-book ratio of 7.74 versus an industry median of 2.64, a price-sales ratio of 3.81 compared to an industry ratio of 3.1 and a price-earnings ratio of 20.28 compared to an industry median of 23.77. The forward dividend yield is 3.49% versus an industry median of 1.66% as of Nov. 21.

AbbVie closed at $86.2 per share on Wednesday with a market capitalization of $132.51 billion. The stock trades with a price-sales ratio of 4.2 compared to an industry median of 3.1 and a price-earnings ratio of 17.8 versus an industry median of 23.77. The forward dividend yield is 4.86% versus an industry median of 1.66%.

AbbVie has underperformed Roche by 10% so far this year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any securities mentioned in this article.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.