Roche Holding Ltd. Suffers Slight Decline After Job Cuts Announced (RHHBY)

After a 0.6% increase yesterday, Roche Holding Ltd. (OTC: RHHBY) suffered a 10-cent, or 0.24%, decline at close of business today, closing at $42.27, down from yesterday’s stock price of $42.37. The day low was $41.86. The number of shares also fell by almost 80,000 compared to yesterday. This follows the news yesterday regarding the closure of the company’s New Jersey research site, which will cut 1,000 jobs by 2013.

Stock volume was at its highest point this year on May 7, when it reached 971,791 shares. The stock has been on a roller coaster ride since then, bottoming out on June 8, with only 107,477 shares. In the past 52 weeks, Roche Holding Ltd.’s stock price has ranged from $36.50 to $46.40.

The pharmaceutical research company, based in Basel, Switzerland, is streamlining its operations in order to secure more funding for clinical programs. The research and development activities that occurred in New Jersey will be consolidated in the Switzerland and Germany offices. Thousands of sales and marketing positions have already been eliminated from the New Jersey site.

Roche Holding Ltd., the largest maker of cancer drugs, was just last week accused by British regulators of not reporting side effects in 80,000 cases of drug use. The cases dated back to 1997 and are linked to more than 15,000 deaths caused by the drugs. The European Medicines Agency will be undergoing an investigation soon.

However, the company has had some high points recently as well. It has made several huge gains this month with new drugs that are being tested. Earlier this month, Roche announced that its newly-developed rheumatoid arthritis drug, RoActemra, performed very well in clinical trials, reducing inflammation better than Humira, which is currently the top-selling arthritis drug on the market. Roche is also testing an experimental cancer drug that has already shown signs of success. The drug, trastuzumab emtansine, or T-DM1, was created to attack only the cancerous cells and not the healthy ones, which is unlike current chemotherapy medications.

Earlier last week, the company also announced that it was buying the rights to AC Immune’s new experimental drug for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Roche offered AC Immune an up-front fee and has promised up to $420 million in additional payments and royalties. Although Roche has mainly focused on cancer drugs in the past, it is looking to expand its presence in the market of Alzheimer’s disease drugs, as it is one of the most common diseases among the elderly. On June 19th, 2012, Roche announced that it was collaborating with Seaside Therapeutics in order to create advanced treatments for autism disorders and fragile X syndrome.

Roche Holding Ltd. will publish its half-year results on July 26, 2012.

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Published by Lisa Ray

Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Purdue University and 3 years of experience in the publishing field.

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