Credit Suisse and Roche post jump in profits

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse has reported a 32 percent rise in second-quarter profit from a year ago to 1.04 billion francs, largely thanks to a strong trading performance.

Credit Suisse and Roche post jump in profits
CS made more money in the second quarter. Photo: publicdomain.jpg

The result beat expectations by analysts polled by Swiss business news agency AWP, who had predicted an average net profit of around 1.01 billion francs.

Pre-tax profits jumped by 38 percent to 1.53 billion francs, the group said in a statement on Thursday.

In its private banking and wealth management divisions, net revenue remained stable at 3.4 billion francs, with an increase in revenue from financial transactions and higher fees offsetting lower incomes from other products.

The bank, which has embarked on a major restructuring, said it had made savings of 2.7 billion francs and was on track to achieve its goal of reducing spending by 4.4 billion francs by the end of 2015.

Over the past three months, Credit Suisse has cut an additional 600 jobs, leaving it with a global workforce of 46,300 staff.

The bank's second-quarter results mirrored the recent spike in profits reported by US investment banks.

Meanwhile pharmaceuticals giant Roche announced a 40-percent leap in net profit for the first half on Thursday, saying this was driven in part by sales growth.

Net profit hit 6.04 billion francs in the January to June period, Roche said in a statement.

Sales rose by four percent on a 12-month basis to 23.29 billion francs.

The group's flagship pharmaceuticals division contributed 18.1 billion francs of that performance, posting a four-percent increase.

Sales by Roche's diagnostics wing were up two percent to 5.13 billion francs.

The figures tallied with analysts' forecasts.

"Roche delivered strong operating results in the first half of 2013, driven by our existing portfolio, recently launched cancer medicines Perjeta and Kadcyla, as well as continued growth in the clinical laboratory business," chief executive Severin Schwan said.

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Swiss-American antibody drug ‘effective at preventing Covid infection’

US biotech firm Regeneron and its Swiss partner Roche unveiled promising clinical trial results Monday indicating that an antibody treatment used to treat Covid-19 patients also helps prevent infections.

Swiss-American antibody drug 'effective at preventing Covid infection'
Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The results of the Phase 3 trial showed that the combination of the antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab dramatically reduced the risk of symptomatic infection among people living with Covid-19 patients, Roche said in a statement.

The trial entailed injecting 1,505 people not infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus but living in households with people carrying the virus with the Regeneron antibody cocktail or a placebo.

READ MORE: Why are vaccination appointments still vacant in Zurich?

The trial, which was conducted in cooperation with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, showed that those who received the antibody cocktail saw their risk of symptomatic infection reduced by 81 percent, the companies said.

It also indicated that those treated with casirivimab and imdevimab who did experience symptomatic infection on average saw their symptoms clear within one week — far faster than the three-week average for those who received the placebo.

In a separate part of the study, 204 people who had recently tested positive for Covid-19 but showed no symptoms received either a dose of the antibody cocktail or a placebo.

Those who received the cocktail saw their risk of developing symptoms reduced by 31 percent compared to the placebo group, the companies said.

“Today’s data confirm the potential dual value of casirivimab and imdevimab to reduce household Covid-19 infections and to decrease the disease burden in those who do become infected, when given as a subcutaneous option,” Levi Garraway, Roche’s chief medical officer said in a statement.

“Although vaccinations are increasing globally, there remains a critical unmet need worldwide to prevent infections and provide immediate protection from Covid-19 between close contacts,” he said.

EXPLAINED: How Switzerland is speeding up its vaccination programme

Regeneron president and chief scientist George Yancopoulos agreed, pointing out that in the United States alone, 60,000 people are being diagnosed with Covid-19 every day.

The antibody cocktail “may help provide immediate protection to unvaccinated people who are exposed to the virus”, he said in a statement, adding that it could also potentially “provide ongoing protection for immunocompromised patients who may not respond well to vaccines”.

Regeneron said it would present the data to the US Food and Drug Administration and request it clear the Covid antibody cocktail for use as a preventative treatment.

The companies said they would share the new data with health regulators worldwide.