FiercePharmaMarketing: AstraZeneca's Brilinta comeback runs aground on DoJ probe

Here's a scenario: You're trying to jump-start sales of a drug. It's one of those products that never has hummed on all cylinders, but you think it could wear racing stripes. And now, you're seeing signs of life.

Then the feds show up, digging into the study data that justified that drug's FDA approval.

That's the conundrum facing AstraZeneca ($AZN) and its Brilinta blood thinner, now under investigation by the Justice Department. It's a probe that could--worst case scenario--end up forcing the drug off the market.

Pascal Soriot--FiercePharma file photo

CEO Pascal Soriot trotted out a list of hope-inducing indicators during a discussion with analysts last week, and some explanations for stats that aren't so positive. For instance, Brilinta's 2013 sales amounted to $283 million, more than three times its 2012 total. In some European markets, the drug has taken the lead in its niche. "[T]his actually demonstrates the potential of this product and it demonstrates what it can do when marketed," Soriot said during the conference call. Read the full report in FiercePharmaMarketing>>