|Type||Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: AZN
Zeneca Group plc
|Founded||6 April 1999|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Leif Johansson (Chairman)
Pascal Soriot (CEO)
|Revenue||US$25,711 million (2013)|
|Operating income||US$3,712 million (2013)|
|Net income||US$2,571 million (2013)|
AstraZeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's seventh-largest pharmaceutical company measured by 2012 prescription drug sales (after Pfizer, Sanofi, Novartis, Merck & Co., Roche and GlaxoSmithKline) and has operations in over 100 countries.
AstraZeneca has a portfolio of products for major disease areas including cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation. The company was founded in 1999 through the merger of the Sweden-based Astra AB and the UK-based Zeneca Group (itself formed by the demerger of the pharmaceutical operations of Imperial Chemical Industries in 1993). It has made numerous corporate acquisitions, including of Cambridge Antibody Technology (in 2006), MedImmune (in 2007), and Spirogen (in 2013).
AstraZeneca has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It had a market capitalisation of approximately £54.8 billion as of 1 August 2014, the sixth largest of any company with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange. It has secondary listings on the New York Stock Exchange and the OMX exchange.
Astra AB was founded in 1913 in Södertälje, Sweden, by 400 doctors and apothecaries. In 1993 the British chemicals company ICI demerged its pharmaceuticals businesses and its agrochemicals and specialties businesses, to form Zeneca Group plc,. Finally, in 1999 Astra and Zeneca Group merged to form AstraZeneca plc, with its headquarters in London. In 1999, AstraZeneca identified as a new location for the company's US base the "Fairfax-plus" site in North Wilmington, Delaware. In 2002, its drug Iressa was approved in Japan as monotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer. On 3 January 2004 Dr Robert Nolan, a former director of AstraZeneca, formed the management team of ZI Medical.
In 2005, the company acquired KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, a UK biotech company, for £120m and entered into an anti-cancer collaboration agreement with Astex. It also announced that it had become a Diamond Member of the Pennsylvania Bio commerce organisation.
In February 2007, AstraZeneca agreed to buy Arrow Therapeutics, a company focused on the discovery and development of anti-viral therapies, for $150 million.
AstraZeneca's pipeline, and "patent cliff", was the subject of much speculation in April 2007 leading to pipeline-boosting collaboration and acquisition activities. A few days later AstraZeneca acquired American company MedImmune for about $15.2 billion to gain flu vaccines and an anti-viral treatment for infants; AstraZeneca subsequently consolidated all of its biologics operations into a dedicated biologics division called MedImmune.
In 2011, AstraZeneca acquired Guangdong BeiKang Pharmaceutical Company, a Chinese generics business.
In February 2012, AstraZeneca and Amgen announced collaboration on treatments for inflammatory diseases. Then in April 2012, AstraZeneca acquired Ardea Biosciences, another biotechnology company, for $1.26 billion.
In June 2012, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced a two-stage deal for the joint acquisition of the biotechnology company Amylin Pharmaceuticals. It was agreed that Bristol-Myers Squibb would acquire Amylin for $5.3 billion in cash and the assumption of $1.7 billion in debt, with AstraZeneca then paying $3.4 billion in cash to Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Amylin being folded into an existing diabetes joint-venture between AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
2013 restructuring and beyond
In March 2013 AstraZeneca announced plans for a major corporate restructuring, including the closure of its research and development activities at Alderley Park, investment of $500 million in the construction of a new research and development facility in Cambridge and the concentration of R&D in three locations: Cambridge, Gaithersburg, Maryland (location of MedImmune, where it will work on biotech drugs), and Moelndal in Sweden, for research on traditional chemical drugs. AstraZeneca also announced that it would move its corporate headquarters from London to Cambridge in 2016. In the same month AstraZeneca said it will cut 2,300 jobs as part of a restructuring of its business.
It also announced that it would focus on three therapeutic areas: Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmunity; Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease; and Oncology.
On 19 May 2014 AstraZeneca rejected a "final offer" from Pfizer of £55 per share, which valued the company at £69.4 billion ($117 billion). The companies had been meeting since January 2014. If the takeover had proceeded Pfizer would have become the world's biggest drug maker. The transaction would also have been the biggest foreign takeover of a British company. Many in Britain, including politicians and scientists, had opposed the deal.
In July 2014 the company entered into a deal with Almirall to acquire its subsidiary Almirall Sofotec and its lung treatments including the COPD drug Eklira. The $2.1 billion deal included an allocation of $1.2 billion for development in the respiratory franchise, one of AstraZeneca's key growth platforms.
AstraZeneca develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceutical and biotechnology products to treat disorders in the gastrointestinal, cardiac and vascular, neurological and psychiatric, infection, respiratory, pathological inflammation and oncology areas.
AstraZeneca has its corporate headquarters in London, United Kingdom, and its research and development (R&D) headquarters are in Södertälje, Sweden. The company employs over 11,000 people at research facilities in the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, France, Canada, India, China, Brazil and Japan.
AstraZeneca specialises in prescription medicines to fight disease in several therapeutic areas. The following is a list of key products found on the AstraZeneca website. Generic- drug names are given in parentheses following the brand name.
- Byetta and Bydureon (Exenatide)
- Onglyza (Saxagliptin)
- Farxiga (dapagliflozin)
- Kombiglyze™ XR (saxagliptin and metformin HCl extended release)
- Komboglyze™ (saxagliptin and metformin HCl)
- Symlin® (pramlintide acetate)
- Xigduo™ (dapagliflozin and metformin HCl),
-Respiratory and Inflammation
The senior executive team is composed of David Brennan, Simon Lowth, John Patterson, Tony Zook, David Mott, Bruno Angelici, Lynn Tetrault and David Smith. As of 2008, Brennan is paid $1,574,144 for his role as chief executive officer.
On 26 April 2012, it was announced that David Brennan was to retire early in the June of that year
It was also announced that Leif Johansson will succeed Louis Schweitzer as Non-Executive chairman on 1 June 2012 – three months earlier than previously announced – and will become Chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee after (the 2012) Annual General Meeting."
In April 2010 AstraZeneca settled a qui tam lawsuit brought by Stefan P. Kruszewski for $520 million to settle allegations that the company defrauded Medicare, Medcaid, and other government-funded health care programs in connection with its marketing and promotional practices for the blockbuster atypical antipsychotic, Seroquel.
The company's most commercially-successful medication is esomeprazole. The primary uses are treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, treatment and maintenance of erosive esophagitis, treatment of duodenal ulcers caused by H. pylori, prevention of gastric ulcers in those on chronic NSAID therapy, and treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers associated with Crohn's disease.[ When it is manufactured the result is a mixture of two mirror-imaged molecules, R and S. Two years before the omeprazole patent expired AstraZeneca patented S-omeprazole in pure form, pointing out that since some people metabolise R-omeprazole slowly, pure S-omeprazole treatment would give higher dose efficiency and less interindividual variation. In March 2001, the company began to market Nexium, as it would a brand new drug.
The (R)-entantiomer of omeprazole is metabolized exclusively by the enzyme CYP2C19, which is expressed in very low amounts by 3% of the population. Treated with a normal dose of the enantiomeric mixture, these persons will experience blood levels that are 5 times higher than those with normal CYP2C19 production. In contrast, esomeprazole is metabolized by both CYP2C19 and CYP3A4, providing less variable drug exposure. While omeprazole is approved only at doses of up to 20 mg for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux, esomeprazole is approved for doses up to 40 mg.
In 2007, Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and a lecturer in social medicine at the Harvard Medical School, said in Stern, a German-language weekly newsmagazine, that AstraZeneca's scientists had misrepresented their research on the drug's efficiency, saying "Instead of using presumably comparable doses [of each drug], the company's scientists used Nexium in higher dosages. They compared 20 and 40mg Nexium with 20mg Prilosec. With the cards having been marked in that way, Nexium looked like an improvement – which however was only small and shown in only two of the three studies."
On 4 February 1998, Astra USA sued Lars Bildman, its former president and chief executive officer, seeking $15 million for defrauding the company. The sum included $2.3 million in company funds he allegedly used to fix up three of his homes, plus money the company paid as the result of the EEOC investigation. Astra's lawsuit alleged Bildman sexually harassed and intimidated employees, used company funds for yachts and prostitutes, destroyed documents and records, and concocted "tales of conspiracy involving ex-KGB agents and competitors. This was in a last-ditch effort to distract attention from the real wrongdoer, Bildman himself." Bildman had already plead guilty in US District Court for failing to report more than $1 million in income on his tax returns; in addition, several female co-workers filed personal sexual-harassment lawsuits.
In 2010 AstraZeneca agreed to pay £505 million to settle a UK tax dispute related to transfer mispricing.
Notes and references
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