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Max Nisen

Roche's New Drugs May Protect its Old Ones

Combinations can ease the pain of biosimilar competition.

Roche Holding AG's blockbuster cancer drugs face a huge impending sales decline in the next few years. Its investors aren't worried.

The company's ADRs spiked as much 6.8 percent on Thursday, in response to positive trial data for a combination of Herceptin -- one of those big blockbusters -- and a newer drug called Perjeta.

Roche faces competition for its big cancer drugs -- which are expected to generate more than $20 billion in sales this year -- from a wave of generic-like substitutes called biosimilars.