AZ's pressured diabetes and respiratory drugs lag, triggering Q3 sales miss


AstraZeneca’s top line got hit hard in Q3, and much of the pain came from plummeting Crestor sales. But the British drugmaker had its underperformance in a couple of key therapy areas to blame, too.

Product sales of $5.03 billion landed 14% below consensus estimates, Bernstein analyst Tim Anderson wrote in a Thursday note to clients, with respiratory and diabetes sales both coming in weak. Symbicort, in particular, felt the burn from a rebate adjustment during the quarter, while GLP-1 products Bydureon and Byetta suffered on competition.

The showing was “a reminder of AstraZeneca’s exposure to these payer pressured areas,” Anderson wrote. And Crestor and Nexium, which declined by 44% and 20%, respectively, didn’t make things any better.


The 13th Annual Digital Pharma East

Digital Pharma East returns to the Pennsylvania Convention Center September 17–20, bringing together over 1000 attendees from biotech and pharma, to better understand how to present business plans, justify budget and innovation, and de-risk proposals getting shut down — essentially, understand how they can return to the office and become champions for their internal digital needs. Join us and save 15% on standard rates when you register with Discount Code DPE19Fierce.

Results weren’t all bad, though. New cancer-fighter Tagrisso put up $133 million--a tally Anderson dubbed “solid.” And a tax benefit of $0.36 helped take EPS to $1.32 to top analysts’ 98-cent predictions handily.

But AZ will need its other portfolio meds to step it up, especially now that blood-thinner Brilinta won’t be putting up the numbers the company once hoped for. Early last month, the British pharma giant flopped its second trial in less than 6 months, dashing hopes for a new indication in peripheral artery disease (PAD). And in response, Brilinta chief Ludovic Helfgott called the med’s $3.5 billion sales target “unrealistic.”

AstraZeneca is also looking to PARP inhibitor Lynparza to come up big, but that med may soon have some competition from a closely watched prospect. Massachusetts biotech Tesaro is working to bring its niraparib to the prostate cancer market. And Pfizer--which recently wrapped a buyout of California’s Medivation--has its talazoparib in the works, too, though that drug is further off.


Suggested Articles

Leading Indian drugmakers Sun Pharma, Cipla, Aurobindo and Dr. Reddy's are all trying to expand their presences in China.

New Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day has already replaced some key leaders at the company, but he’s not stopping there with the executive overhaul.

The FDA lambasted Strides Pharma in a warning letter after inspectors found testing records in the trash and in bags by a shredder.