After Daiichi deal, AstraZeneca's focus firmly on its own pipeline: CEO

Pascal Soriot
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot (AstraZeneca)

After recently tying up a nearly $7 billion deal with Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo for a next-gen breast cancer program, AstraZeneca is happy, for the most part, to focus on its own pipeline and not go after deals.

Speaking to reporters during its second-quarter financials call this morning, the U.K.-based Big Pharma’s CEO Pascal Soriot said: “Our focus is on our pipeline and delivering on our planned growth, improving our operating margin and our cash flow. That is our absolute focus today.”

But, and it was ever thus, Soriot said the company “would remain open to opportunities that come our way” if they are at the “right price” and can add value, like he sees with the Daiichi deal.

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He did add, however, that there are “not so many opportunities” for M&A, a common theme among Big Pharma CEOs, who typically bemoan the high prices at which many biotechs are being valued.

AstraZeneca was up 4% in early trading this morning, with sales growing (PDF) at a strong 17% (at constant exchange rates) for the first half, boosted by revenue coming in from new meds as well as a strong showing in China.