AstraZeneca’s new drugs proof of strong future
ASTRAZENECA, determined to show it has a strong independent future after seeing off a $118 billion (R1.3 trillion) bid from Pfizer in May, said it had made good progress in developing a pipeline of new drugs.
Flagging an “industry-leading” portfolio of immune-boosting cancer drugs, the company also brought forward the filing date for a new lung cancer pill and said it had the potential to win between eight and 10 new drug approvals in 2015-2016 across all disease areas.
It reiterated it was on course to return to growth and that annual sales would rise by three quarters to exceed $45bn by 2023, a forecast it first gave at the height of the Pfizer defence.
AstraZeneca executives presented further details at a sixhour investor meeting yesterday. The event comes eight days before British takeover rules allow Pfizer to renew its pursuit, an option some investors now see as unlikely.
“We have more than doubled the number of potential medicines in our late-stage pipeline since 2012 and we are on track to return to growth by 2017,” chief executive Pascal Soriot said. “We are building a sustainable, more durable and profitable company.”
Although it has more drugs coming through, it still faces major challenges, with a raft of patent expiries over the next few years, and Soriot said he would continue to seek partnerships and bolt-on acquisitions to build the business.
Most investor interest is focused on the group’s cancer drug portfolio, particularly in the hot area of immuno-oncology, where it has 13 combination trials under way and 16 planned. – Reuters
AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot.