About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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January 31, 2013

AstraZeneca's Nasty Numbers

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Posted by Derek

So everyone watching the pharma business has been hearing about how AstraZeneca has all kinds of problems - drug failures, big patent expirations, too much spending on too little output, one damn thing after another. Well, here's the evidence today. Everyone knew that numbers like these were coming, and here they are.

Sales will fall by a “mid- to high-single digit percentage” at constant exchange rates in 2013, the London- based company said today in a statement. Analysts had estimated a decline of about 3 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company also said earnings fell for a fourth straight quarter and left the annual dividend unchanged. The stock fell the most in nine months.

And things will continue to be. . .challenging:

AstraZeneca has ended nine drug development programs since June 30, including selumetinib for solid tumors, AZD4017 for glaucoma and AZD9773 for severe sepsis, which were in mid-stage trials. In December, the company said fostamatinib, its experimental drug for rheumatoid arthritis, failed to show a benefit against AbbVie Inc. (ABBV)’s Humira in a mid-stage trial.

On the one hand, you want to get rid of such programs before they chew up still more time and money. But on the other hand, you do need something to sell. All this makes a person think that if you're a small company with an asset to sell, that you're going to want to give AZ a call. I think that they'll be ready to deal.

Comments (8) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Business and Markets


1. Gil Roth on January 31, 2013 12:10 PM writes...

I've been compiling drug revenue stats since 2001 for my magazine's Top Companies report, and I've NEVER seen a massacre like AZ's 2012 sales.

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2. annonie on January 31, 2013 12:16 PM writes...

With this report and the last few quarters trend, why is the stock only down 2.7%?

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3. Anonymous on January 31, 2013 2:13 PM writes...

b'se it is not Apple

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4. Anonymous on January 31, 2013 2:13 PM writes...

b'se it is not Apple

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5. Anonymous on January 31, 2013 3:09 PM writes...

This has been in the pipeline for a long time I suspect there will be more job losses later this year or next year.

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6. annonie on January 31, 2013 4:12 PM writes...

#3,4: certainly isn't.....

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7. LittleGreenPills on January 31, 2013 5:58 PM writes...

"Sales will fall by a “mid- to high-single digit percentage” ... Analysts had estimated a decline of about 3 percent"

Sounds like they expect at least 5% not three, but know that 9% may be more reasonable.

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8. petros on February 1, 2013 7:51 AM writes...

Gil Roth

What about BMS? Down 17.1%. and that was after buying Amylin.

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