Roche's (RHHBY) struggle to perfect its potential blockbuster haemophilia treatment has highlighted the intensity of competition in a $10 billion market already crowded with rivals such as Pfizer (PFE) , Bayer (BAYRY) , and Shire (SHPG) .
The market for haemophilia drugs - in order to treat patients who suffer from bleeding for longer periods than normal due to disorder in blood clotting abilities - is set to grow at a compound annual rate of more than over 5% over the next few years, according to Grand View Research.
The Basel, Switzerland-based Roche, which has been conducting clinical trials on emicizumab, or ACE910, said in a statement obtained by TheStreet Thursday that four patients reported serious adverse events as a result of treatment. Emicizumab is aimed patients suffering from haemophilia A, a more common form of the disorder than types B and C.
Roche added that all these cases had involved "concomitant use of multiple doses of a bypassing agent with emicizumab while treating a breakthrough bleed; in some cases the bypassing agent at doses exceeding the recommended labelled doses."
Roche AG shares fell 0.74% in Zurich Thursday, changing hands at Sfr222.60 each and extending the year-to-date decline to nearly 20%.
Rivals are bracing for the outcome of the ongoing trial for Roche's emicizumab expected at the end of the year, as the drug is likely to change the way haemophilia A patients are treated, enabling them to reduce the frequency they need to receive treatments to just once a week.