AstraZeneca touts new drug approval plans

After more than five long years without a new drug to boast about, AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan (photo) says that the pharma giant's pipeline is getting ready to churn out a string of new therapies that can command significant sales. AZ's Onglyza for diabetes is expected to launch later this year and Brennan outlined plans to file for four new approvals by the end of 2010.

"We are pleased with the progress we've seen in the pipeline," Brennan told Reuters. "It's more balanced on proven mechanisms... four years ago, we were more heavily weighted to first-in-class (drugs), which was higher risk." 

A good example of that more conservative approach to drug development is on display in a new drug that combines the cholesterol drug Crestor and Solvay's TriLipix. Other late-stage prospects include its Brilinta program, a blood thinner, along with the cancer drug Zactima and the pain therapy PN400.

- read the report from the Guardian

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