AZ chief: Partnership beats big buyouts

AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan (photo) says pharma is in the middle of a "sea change." But he just might mean that the industry is parting like the Red Sea. On one side, the drugmakers aiming for megamergers as a remedy for their ills. On the other, companies relying on collaboration and partnerships. Three guesses as to which side Brennan's on.

You're correct! Collaboration is Brennan's watchword of the day, according to the pre-release of his speech to Europe's Biopharmaceutical Conference in Monte Carlo. "We are looking beyond the confines of our research and development and commercial organisations to embrace new opportunities with external partners," Brennan's remarks state. "Only by changing our ways of working will we deliver sustainable levels of medical innovation over the coming years."

It makes one wonder whether Brennan and Sanofi-Aventis CEO Chris Viehbacher and even GlaxoSmithKline chief Andrew Witty are hanging out together. They're certainly saying similar things about their strategies. And if they did trade talk around the barbeque pit, say, do you think they're running down their megamerger-loving competitors Pfizer, Merck, Schering-Plough and Wyeth? Where's Bristol-Myers Squibb in the mix? Points to ponder while you're flipping steaks on the grill this weekend.

- read the story in The Telegraph

ALSO: As if to prove plaintiffs' attorney Paul Pennock right, a federal judge ruled that AstraZeneca can't block expert testimony by a witness, Donna Arnett, the company had sought to disqualify from Seroquel liability cases. The Florida decision comes just days after legal observers conjectured that the Seroquel litigation had hit a permanent snag. Report