It's not often that a Big Pharma company puts out a press release announcing the launch of a preclinical drug program. Yet AstraZeneca, which has been trumpeting a major turnaround in its pipeline, has done just that--even going so far as to hype its new drug's potential impact on the market by bolstering a struggling product.
Amgen and its Big Pharma partner AstraZeneca have roped in another round of promising Phase III plaque psoriasis data for their IL-17 blockbuster contender brodalumab, which beat Johnson & Johnson's big earner Stelara in a head-to-head study.
The FDA says it has approved two companies to make generics of Roche's Valcyte but will not give any clarity on plans for a generic of AstraZeneca's blockbuster Nexium after nixing earlier approvals for troubled Ranbaxy Laboratories to make both drugs.
At about the same time that AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot was telling investors its earnings had been boosted because no generic of blockbuster Nexium had appeared, Ranbaxy Laboratories was announcing bad news on that front for itself.
The BBC has some numbers sourced from GlobalData showing that 9 out of 10 Big Pharma companies do in fact spend more on marketing than on R&D. In some cases, that's twice as much.
AstraZeneca hiked its 2014 forecast for the second time this year. Sales were up by 5%. Instead of apologizing for a lack of growth, CEO Pascal Soriot could crow about the opposite. Revenue of $6.54 billion beat analyst estimates, and core EPS of $1.05 did the same.
As part of its immuno-oncology strategy, AstraZeneca's biotech unit MedImmune will pay $150 million upfront and commit to undisclosed milestone fees to take over German data analysis firm Definiens.
AstraZeneca's ovarian cancer-treating olaparib may also have a beneficial effect on prostate cancer, researchers said, potentially increasing the value of a key drug in the company's self-appraised $12 billion oncology pipeline.
AstraZeneca wants to build up its oncology presence, and its latest acquisition could help the company on its way. The drugmaker's MedImmune division shelled out $150 million upfront and additional milestone payments for Definiens, a diagnostic outfit with imaging technology that identifies biomarkers in tumor tissue and provides a more accurate way to assess tissue samples.
AstraZeneca signed on the dotted line for Almirall, gaining access to the company's promising respiratory drug portfolio and products currently under development. But now job cuts are on the horizon for Almirall, as the company is slashing jobs and sending some of its employees to AstraZeneca as part of the deal.