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Roche (RHHBY - Analyst Report) recently announced that it intends to introduce a fully automated lab solution – cobas 8100 workflow series - shortly.

Cobas 8100 is a new diagnostic solution from Roche, which is designed to automate various routine tasks in diagnostic laboratories while increasing safety of patients. 

The solution is expected to improve precision and efficiency in various laboratory tests, which in turn, should lead to speedy and reliable treatment solutions by healthcare professionals. Roche expects to market cobas 8100 in autumn this year.

In the first quarter of 2013, Roche launched cobas 4800 PIK3CA test for research work with a focus on tumor formulation and related search and for determining potential treatment options.

Along with providing therapeutic products and services for diverse medical needs, Roche continues to focus on innovative diagnostic solutions for the early detection and treatment of diseases.

Roche launched 55 major products in key markets in its diagnostics division in 2012. The product launches included advances in lab automation, patient testing and diabetes management coupled with expansion of existing test menus. We note that Roche’s diagnostics segment accounted for 22.5% of total sales in 2012 with a 4% increase in total sales.

Going forward, Roche plans to launch 13 differentiated solutions in 2013, out of which 5 were launched in the first quarter of 2013.

This should further boost the division sales as laboratories across the world look to improve efficiency while reducing expenses in the face of increasing healthcare costs. Moreover, the new product launches from Roche should somewhat offset the declining sales from existing diabetes care management solutions owing to reimbursement cuts and intensified pricing pressure. 

Meanwhile, the growth story at the core pharmaceutical division continues to progress well with Roche’s recent pipeline developments. Roche recently obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for Tarceva for the first-line treatment of patients suffering from metastatic non-small cell lung cancer.

Earlier in the month, Roche released positive initial results on its oncology candidate, obinutuzumab (GA101), from CLL11, a phase III study.

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP - Analyst Report), Santarus Inc. , and Anika Therapeutics, Inc. look attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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