22. May 2012 11:15
AstraZeneca looks set for several agreements to boost its pipeline after suffering a host of late-stage setbacks, according to Dr Martin Mackay (pictured), Head of Research and Development.
The R&D chief indicated the pharmaceutical company is hoping to sign deals with other major pharma companies as well as targeting biotech acquisitions and licensing partnerships.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Dr Mackay said he would be “personally disappointed” if agreements to secure AZ’s future were not completed by the end of the year.
The company has been linked as one of the suitors interested in acquiring Amylin Pharmaceuticals, who reportedly rejected a hostile bid from BMS.
Shareholders at the Anglo-Swedish pharma firm have criticised the leadership of retiring CEO David Brennan for failing to securing merger and acquisition deals to compensate for its failing pipeline.
Mr Brennan announced his departure on the day AZ published their Q1 financial results which revealed an 11% drop in revenue after key brands lost patent protection.
The outgoing CEO said the pharmaceutical industry is “experiencing pressures none of which I’ve witnessed in my 36 years in the industry” but remains “very confident” AZ has the “capabilities, courage and determination to be successful into the future”.
Dr Mackay insists his research teams have remained “undistracted by recent events” at the company and said the department continue to do “the right things”.
Since he joined AZ from Pfizer in 2010, the R&D head has restructured the department, outsourcing several in-house activities whilst axing 40% of its investigational portfolio.