AZ touts biologics pipeline

At an R&D day for analysts and investors, AstraZeneca is filling in some of the details on its move to merge two recent biotech purchases--MedImmune and Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT). In October AstraZeneca announced it plans to combine the two biotechs into a new biologics company with $1.3 billion in revenue. Thanks to the merger, AstraZeneca says its biologics pipeline has doubled in size; the company says it will have three new drug candidates in pivotal trials by 2010, and it's targeting an average of six investigational new drug applications for submission per year. In particular, AstraZeneca is focusing on its antibody and vaccine discovery programs.

"Building a major international presence in the research, development and commercialization of biologics to complement our small molecule capabilities is key to our sustained success," said David Brennan (photo), AstraZeneca's CEO. "The consolidation of all our biologics capabilities from AstraZeneca, Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and MedImmune into one unit immediately creates one of the world's largest biologics pipelines and establishes us as a leader in biotechnology among our pharmaceutical peers."

Recently, one investment bank said that it expected AstraZeneca to be the worst-performing pharma company in the upcoming years due to generic competition looming in the future. Perhaps the company's reorganized biotech capabilities can convince investors otherwise.

- see this release
- read the MarketWatch report

ALSO: Take a look at AstraZeneca's pipeline. Report