AstraZeneca cuts costs for cancer drug shift

Article by Staff Writer

UK DRUG MAKER AstraZeneca has launched a US$1.1bn/y cost savings plan to shift its focus from mass-market drugs to a new generation of specialised cancer treatments in its pipeline.

The company will soon loose patent protection for its best-selling cholesterol treatment Crestor, with generic versions due to enter the market in May. As a result, AstraZeneca will develop “speciality-care medicines” that would be higher-value medicines dispensed by hospitals, thereby increasing the company’s pipeline productivity.

The shift in focus will cut AstraZeneca’s operations, primarily in the commercial and manufacturing sectors, potentially leading to significant job cuts by the end of 2017. The extent and scale of the job losses is not yet known, however Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca hinted smaller teams would be needed to market speciality cancer drugs.

“The company today announces further focus on the main therapy areas to drive greater productivity across the organisation. The prioritisation of investments will be sharpened, enabling the allocation of additional investment to oncology,” added Soriot

AstraZeneca said it would incur a one-time restructuring fee of US$1.5bn, and hopes the restructure savings will place the company on target for total revenues of US$45bn by 2023.

The company said it would continue to work with partners to develop 'opportunity-led' treatments on the infection, neuroscience and inflammatory diseases outside respiratory portfolios.

Article by Staff Writer

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