One year ago, Pfizer finally bowed out of the fight to buy AstraZeneca. The hostile bid was, well, quite hostile. And ever since, both companies have operated in the shadow of that failed deal.
When you're targeting an under-the-radar malady that hasn't traditionally been treated with prescription drugs, it's up to marketers to get the word out and deliver on sales. And that's why AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo, whose Movantik launched earlier this year, are bringing a 6-time Olympic medalist on board to talk about opioid-induced constipation (OIC).
The crowded next-gen psoriasis landscape may lose a contender, now that Amgen has bailed out of its brodalumab pact with AstraZeneca. And if the British pharma decides to go it alone, it'll face plenty of contenders--not to mention reports of side effects--that could make building market share an uphill battle.
A month ago, Amgen and AstraZeneca were confidently rolling up data from three highly touted late-stage studies on the psoriasis drug brodalumab for a new drug application that was widely viewed as a shoo-in at the FDA. But late Friday evening, Amgen abruptly said it was pulling out of the long-running collaboration on the high-profile IL-17 program after evaluating the likely commercial impact it would face in light of the suicidal thoughts some patients reported during the studies.
Pfizer needs to make a deal--or several. It's obviously amenable to another megamerger, given that it tried to snap up AstraZeneca for more than $100 billion last year. So why not GlaxoSmithKline?
AstraZeneca's best bets for the future are mostly biological treatments. And to prepare for its growing dependence on biotech drugs, the U.K. drugmaker is spending $285 million on a new biologics manufacturing operation.
AstraZeneca, trying to turn its sales performance around, has some biologics launches on the horizon. But to accommodate them, it needs more manufacturing capacity, and it thinks a new $285 million plant in Sweden will do the trick.
Having laid out plans last fall to expand a biologics plant in the U.S., AstraZeneca is now planning to build a new large-molecule filling facility in Sweden, adding up to 250 jobs in the process. The U.K. drugmaker says the new facility is part of a bigger plan for its biologics manufacturing, the details of which it will announce later.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot is counting on the company's cancer drug pipeline to help it climb out of the revenue hole it has fallen into, and he figures his company needs more manufacturing capacity for the coming launches.
AstraZeneca is digging through the genomes of 80,000 people in search of genes linked to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The project is a collaboration with the Montreal Heart Institute, which will genotype 80,000 samples from AstraZeneca's biobank of blood and tissue samples.