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AstraZeneca plc () is a British-Swedish multinational
pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, therapy, treat, or preventive medicine, prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) ...
and
biotechnology Biotechnology is a broad area of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Phy ...

biotechnology
company with its headquarters at the
Cambridge Biomedical Campus The Cambridge Biomedical Campus is the largest centre of medical research Medical research (or biomedical research), also known as experimental medicine, encompasses a wide array of research, extending from "basic research Basic research, ...
in
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...

Cambridge
, England. It has a portfolio of products for major diseases in areas including
oncology Oncology is a branch of medicine Medicine is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form ...
,
cardiovascular The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system An organ system is a biological system A biological system is a complex biological network, network which connects several biological ...
,
gastrointestinal The gastrointestinal tract, (GI tract, GIT, digestive tract, digestion tract, alimentary canal) is the tract from the mouth to the anus which includes all the organs of the digestive system The human digestive system consists of the human ...
,
infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event or for providing hospitality during it. Host may ...
,
neuroscience Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sens ...

neuroscience
,
respiratory The respiratory system (also respiratory apparatus, ventilatory system) is a biological system A biological system is a complex network Network and networking may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * ''Network'' (1976 film), a 1976 Ame ...
, and
inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anato ...
. It is perhaps best known for its involvement in developing the Oxford-Astrazeneca
COVID-19 vaccine A COVID‑19 vaccine is a vaccine A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity The adaptive immune system, also referred as the acquired immune system, is a subsystem of the immune system The immune ...
. The company was founded in 1999 through the merger of the Swedish
Astra AB Astra AB was a former international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Södertälje Södertälje ( , ) is a Urban areas in Sweden, city in Södermanland and Stockholm County, Sweden and seat of Södertälje Municipality. As of 2017, it has ...
and the British
Zeneca Group Zeneca (officially Zeneca Group PLC) was a British multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries ...
(itself formed by the demerger of the pharmaceutical operations of
Imperial Chemical Industries Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was a British chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday obje ...
in 1993). Since the merger it has been among the world's largest pharmaceutical companies and has made numerous corporate acquisitions, including
Cambridge Antibody Technology Cambridge Antibody Technology (officially Cambridge Antibody Technology Group Plc, informally CAT) was a biotechnology company headquartered in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom ...
(in 2006),
MedImmune MedImmune, LLC was a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca AstraZeneca plc () is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in ...
(in 2007), Spirogen (in 2013) and Definiens (by MedImmune in 2014). It has its
research and development Research and development (R&D, R+D), known in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geogra ...
concentrated in three strategic centres: Cambridge, England;
Gothenburg Gothenburg (; abbreviated Gbg; sv, Göteborg ) is the List of urban areas in Sweden by population, second-largest city in Sweden, fifth-largest in the Nordic countries, and capital city, capital of the Västra Götaland County. It is situate ...

Gothenburg
, Sweden and
Gaithersburg Gaithersburg ( ), officially the City of Gaithersburg, is a city in Montgomery CountyMontgomery County may refer to: Australia * The former name of Montgomery Land District, Tasmania United Kingdom * The historic county of Montgomeryshire, Wa ...

Gaithersburg
in
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
, U.S. AstraZeneca has a primary listing on the
London Stock Exchange London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an exchange Exchange may refer to: Places United States * Exchange, Indiana Exchange is an Unincorporated area, unincorporated community ...
and is a constituent of the
FTSE 100 Index The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index, also called the FTSE 100 Index, FTSE 100, FTSE, or, informally, the "Footsie" , is a share index Image:Comparison of three stock indices after 1975.svg, 300px, A comparison of three major U.S. stock ...

FTSE 100 Index
. It has secondary listings on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, Nasdaq New York, the
Bombay Stock Exchange BSE Limited, formerly known as the Bombay Stock Exchange is an Indian stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an exchange Exchange may refer to: Places United States * Exchange, Indiana Exchange is an Unincor ...

Bombay Stock Exchange
and on the
National Stock Exchange of India National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) is the leading stock exchange of India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hin ...
.


History

Astra AB Astra AB was a former international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Södertälje Södertälje ( , ) is a Urban areas in Sweden, city in Södermanland and Stockholm County, Sweden and seat of Södertälje Municipality. As of 2017, it has ...
was founded in 1913 in
Södertälje Södertälje ( , ) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: R ...

Södertälje
,
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
, by 400 doctors and
apothecaries :''"Apothecary" may also refer to Pharmacy (shop) A pharmacy (also called "drugstore" in American English or "community pharmacy" or "chemist" in Commonwealth English, or rarely, apothecary) is a retail shop which provides pharmaceutical drugs ...
. In 1993 the British chemicals company (established from four British chemical companies)
demerged A demerger is a form of corporate restructuring in which the entity's business operations are segregated into one or more components. It is the converse of a Mergers and acquisitions, merger or acquisition. A demerger can take place through a corp ...
its
pharmaceuticals A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, therapy, treat, or preventive medicine, prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) ...
businesses and its
agrochemicals An agrochemical or agrichemical, a contraction of ''agricultural chemical'', is a chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter having constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. Some references add that chemical substance ...
and specialities businesses, to form Zeneca Group PLC. Finally, in 1999 Astra and Zeneca Group merged to form AstraZeneca plc, with its headquarters in London. In 1999, AstraZeneca identified a new location for the company's US base, the "Fairfax-plus" site in North
Wilmington Wilmington may refer to: Places Australia *Wilmington, South Australia, a town and locality **District Council of Wilmington, a former local government area **Wilmington railway line, a former railway line United Kingdom *Wilmington, Devon *Wil ...
, Delaware.


2000–06

In 2002, its drug (gefitinib) was approved in Japan as
monotherapy Combination therapy or polytherapy is therapy A therapy or medical treatment (often abbreviated tx, Tx, or Tx) is the attempted remediation of a health Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being Well-being, also known as ' ...
for
non-small cell lung cancer Non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is any type of epithelial lung cancer Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissue (biology), tissues of the lung. This neoplas ...
. On 3 January 2004 Dr Robert Nolan, a former director of AstraZeneca, formed the management team of ZI Medical. In 2005, the company acquired KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, a UK biotech company, for £120 million. and entered into an anti-cancer collaboration agreement with Astex It also announced that it had become a Diamond Member of the Pennsylvania Bio commerce organisation. In 2006, following a collaborative relationship begun in 2004, AstraZeneca acquired
Cambridge Antibody Technology Cambridge Antibody Technology (officially Cambridge Antibody Technology Group Plc, informally CAT) was a biotechnology company headquartered in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom ...
for £702 million.


2007–12: The patent cliff and subsequent acquisitions

In February 2007, AstraZeneca agreed to buy Arrow Therapeutics, a company focused on the discovery and development of anti-viral therapies, for US$150million. AstraZeneca's pipeline, and "patent cliff", was the subject of much speculation in April 2007 leading to pipeline-boosting collaboration and acquisition activities. A few days later AstraZeneca acquired US company
MedImmune MedImmune, LLC was a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca AstraZeneca plc () is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in ...
for about US$15.2 billion to gain flu vaccines and an anti-viral treatment for infants; AstraZeneca subsequently consolidated all of its biologics operations into a dedicated biologics division called MedImmune.AstraZeneca Buys MedImmune for US$ 15.6 Billion
''The New York Times'', 24 April 2007
In 2010, AstraZeneca acquired Novexel Corp, an antibiotics discovery company formed in 2004 as a spin-off of the Sanofi-Aventis anti-infectives division. Astra acquired the experimental antibiotic NXL-104 (CEF104) (CAZ-AVI) through this acquisition. In 2011, AstraZeneca acquired Guangdong BeiKang Pharmaceutical Company, a Chinese generics business. In February 2012, AstraZeneca and Amgen announced a collaboration on treatments for inflammatory diseases. Then in April 2012, AstraZeneca acquired Ardea Biosciences, another biotechnology company, for $1.26 billion. In June 2012, AstraZeneca and
Bristol Myers Squibb Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is an American pharmaceutical company, headquartered in New York City. Bristol Myers Squibb manufactures prescription pharmaceuticals and biologics in several therapeutic areas, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, cardiovasc ...
announced a two-stage deal for the joint acquisition of the biotechnology company
Amylin Pharmaceuticals Amylin Pharmaceuticals was a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and immediately adjacent to the Mexico–United States border, Mexican ...

Amylin Pharmaceuticals
. It was agreed that Bristol Myers Squibb would acquire Amylin for $5.3 billion in cash and the assumption of $1.7 billion in debt, with AstraZeneca then paying $3.4 billion in cash to Bristol Myers Squibb, and Amylin being folded into an existing diabetes joint venture between AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb.


2013 restructuring and beyond


2013

In March 2013 AstraZeneca announced plans for a major corporate restructuring, including the closure of its research and development activities at
Alderley Park Alderley Park was a country estate at Nether Alderley, Cheshire, England, between Macclesfield and Knutsford. It was the residence of the Stanley family of Alderley from the 1500s. It became the headquarters of ICI Pharmaceuticals in the 1950s. I ...
in
Cheshire Cheshire ( ;), archaically the County Palatine of Chester, is a historic and ceremonial county in northwest England North West England is one of nine official regions of England The regions, formerly known as the government office re ...

Cheshire
and
Loughborough Loughborough ( ) is a market town in the Charnwood (borough), Charnwood borough of Leicestershire, England, the seat of Charnwood Borough Council and Loughborough University. Its 59,933 inhabitants in the 2011 census were estimated at 67,956 in ...
in the UK and at
Lund Lund (, , ) is a city in the southern Swedish provinces of Sweden, province of Scania, across the Øresund, Öresund strait from Copenhagen. The town had 91,940 inhabitants out of a municipal total of 121,510 . It is the seat of Lund Municipali ...

Lund
in Sweden, investment of $500million in the construction of a new research and development facility in Cambridge and the concentration of R&D in three locations: Cambridge, Gaithersburg, Maryland (location of MedImmune, where it will work on biotech drugs), and
Gothenburg Gothenburg (; abbreviated Gbg; sv, Göteborg ) is the List of urban areas in Sweden by population, second-largest city in Sweden, fifth-largest in the Nordic countries, and capital city, capital of the Västra Götaland County. It is situate ...

Gothenburg
in Sweden, for research on traditional chemical drugs. AstraZeneca also announced that it would move its corporate headquarters from London to Cambridge in 2016. That announcement included the announcement that it would cut 1,600 jobs; three days later it announced it would cut an additional 2,300 jobs. It also announced that it would focus on three therapeutic areas: Respiratory Inflammation & Autoimmunity, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease, and Oncology. In October 2013, AstraZeneca announced it would acquire biotech oncology company Spirogen for around US$440 million.


2014

On 19 May 2014 AstraZeneca rejected a "final offer" from
Pfizer Pfizer Inc. ( ) is an American multinational pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, therapy, treat, or pr ...

Pfizer
of £55 per share, which valued the company at £69.4billion (US$117billion). The companies had been meeting since January 2014. If the takeover had proceeded, Pfizer would have become the world's biggest drug maker. The transaction would also have been the biggest foreign takeover of a British company. Many in Britain, including politicians and scientists, had opposed the deal. In July 2014 the company entered into a deal with
Almirall Almirall, S.A. is a Spain, Spanish pharmaceutical company, with headquarters in Barcelona, founded in 1943. In 2016, it generated total revenue of 859.3 million € and became the leading pharmaceutical company in R&D investment in Spain. With ...

Almirall
to acquire its subsidiary Almirall Sofotec and its lung treatments including the
COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of progressive lung disease The lungs are the primary Organ (anatomy), organs of the respiratory system in humans and many other animals including a few fish and some snails. In mammal ...

COPD
drug, Eklira. The US$2.1 billion deal included an allocation of US$1.2 billion for development in the respiratory franchise, one of AstraZeneca's three target therapeutic areas announced the year before. In August 2014 the company announced it had entered into a three-year collaboration with
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation is a Japanese pharmaceuticals company, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation. was formed in 2001 from the merger of Mitsubishi-Tokyo Pharmaceuticals and Welfide Corporation. On October 1, ...
on
diabetic nephropathy Diabetic nephropathy, also known as diabetic kidney disease, is the chronic loss of kidney function Assessment of kidney function occurs in different ways, using the presence of symptoms and signs, as well as measurements using urine tests, b ...

diabetic nephropathy
. In September 2014 the company would join forces with
Eli Lilly Eli Lilly (July 8, 1838 – June 6, 1898) was an American soldier, pharmacist, chemist, and businessman who founded the Eli Lilly and Company Eli Lilly and Company is an American pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicam ...

Eli Lilly
in developing and commercialising its candidate
BACE inhibitor Beta-secretase 1, also known as beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1, beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1), membrane-associated aspartic protease 2, memapsin-2, aspartyl protease 2, and ASP2, is an enzyme that in humans is enco ...
– AZD3292 – used for the treatment of
Alzheimer's disease Alzheimer's disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is a neurodegenerative disease A neurodegenerative disease is caused by the progressive loss of structure or function of neuron A neuron or nerve cell is an membrane p ...
. The deal could yield up to US$500 million for the company. In November 2014 the company's
biologics A biopharmaceutical, also known as a biologic(al) medical product, or biologic, is any pharmaceutical drug A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug Uncoated tablets ...

biologics
R&D operation, MedImmune, agreed to acquire Definiens for more than US$150 million. The company also began a Phase I/II trial collaboration with Pharmacyclics and
Janssen Biotech Janssen Biotech, Inc., formerly Centocor Biotech, Inc., is a biotechnology company that was founded in Philadelphia in 1979 with an initial goal of developing new diagnostic assays using monoclonal antibody technology. History In 1982, Centocor ...
investigating combination treatments. Also in November of the same year, the company agreed to sell its
lipodystrophy Lipodystrophy syndromes are a group of genetic or acquired disorders in which the body is unable to produce and maintain healthy fat tissue. The medical condition is characterized by abnormal or degenerative conditions of the body's adipose tissue ...
treatment business to Aegerion Pharmaceuticals for more than US$325 million. In December, the company received accelerated
FDA The United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Wash ...
approval for
Olaparib Olaparib, sold under the brand name Lynparza, is a medication for the maintenance treatment of BRCA-mutated advanced ovarian cancer in adults. It is a PARP inhibitor, inhibiting poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP), an enzyme involved in DNA repair ...

Olaparib
in the treatment of women with advanced
ovarian cancer Ovarian cancer is a cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumor A benign tumor is a mass of cells Cell most ...
who have a BRCA genetic mutation. A major criterion governing the drugs approval was, on average, its ability to shrink tumours in patients for 7.9 months.


2015

In February, the company announced it would acquire the US and Canadian rights to Actavis's branded respiratory drug business for an initial sum of US$600 million. Later in the same month the company announced it would partner with Orca Pharmaceuticals to develop
retinoic acid Retinoic acid (used simplified here for all-''trans''-retinoic acid) is a metabolite In biochemistry Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of es within and relating to living s. A sub-discipline of both and , biochemistry ma ...

retinoic acid
-related orphan nuclear receptor gamma inhibitors for use in the treatment of a number of autoimmune diseases, which could generate up to US$122.5 million for Orca. The company also announced its plan to spend US$40 million creating a new subsidiary focused on small molecule anti-infectives – primarily in the research of the
gyrase DNA gyrase, or simply gyrase, is an enzyme Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long chains of . Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including , , , providing and , and ...
inhibitor, AZD0914, which is currently in Phase II for the treatment of
gonorrhea Gonorrhea, colloquially known as the clap, is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium ''Neisseria gonorrhoeae''. Infection may involve the genitals, mouth, or rectum. Infected men may experience Dysuria, pain or burning ...
. The company underwrote twenty out of thirty-two seats of a new Cambridge– Gothenburg service by
Sun-Air of Scandinavia SUN-AIR of Scandinavia Aktieselskab, A/S, usually shortened to SUN-AIR, is a Denmark, Danish regional airline headquartered in Billund, Denmark, Billund, with its main base at Billund Airport. It operates scheduled services as a franchising, franc ...
. In mid-March the company announced it would co-commercialise
naloxegol Naloxegol (INN Inns are generally establishments or buildings where travelers can seek lodging Lodging refers to the use of a short-term dwelling In law, a dwelling (also known as a residence or an abode) is a self-contained unit ...

naloxegol
along with
Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical company and the second-largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. It achieved JPY 981.8 billion in revenue in 2019. The company owns the American biotechnology company Plexxikon, American pharmaceutical company American R ...
in a deal worth up to US$825 million. Towards the end of April the company announced a number of collaborations worth an estimated US$1.8 billion; first, to develop and commercialise MEDI4736, with
Celgene Celgene Corporation is a pharmaceutical company that makes cancer and immunology drugs. Its major product is Revlimid (lenalidomide), which is used in the treatment of multiple myeloma, and also in certain anemias. The company is incorporated in ...
, for use against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and
multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma (MM), also known as plasma cell myeloma and simply myeloma, is a cancer Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast wi ...

multiple myeloma
with AstraZeneca receiving US$450 million. The second of two deals is an agreement to study a combination treatment of MEDI4736 and Innate Pharma's Phase II anti-NKG2A antibody
IPH2201 Monalizumab (formerly IPH2201) is an investigational drug being studied for rheumatoid arthritis, gynecologic cancer, gynecologic malignancies and other cancers. Mechanism of action Monalizumab is a monoclonal antibody targeted at NKG2A. It is a ...
for up to US$1.275 billion. The company's MedImmune arm also launched collaborative clinical trials with
Juno Therapeutics Juno Therapeutics is an American biopharmaceutical company founded in 2013 through a collaboration of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and pediatrics partner Seattle Children's Research Institute. ...
, investigating combination treatments for cancer. The trials will assess combinations of MEDI4736 and one of Juno Therapeutics' CD19 directed chimeric antigen receptor T-cell candidates. In late June the company announced it has entered into a partnership agreement with Eolas Therapeutics on the Eolas Orexin-1 Receptor Antagonist (EORA) program for smoking cessation and other treatments. In July the company announced it would sell off its rights to Entocort (
budesonide Budesonide (BUD), sold under the brand name Pulmicort among others, is a medication of the corticosteroid type. It is available as an metered-dose inhaler, inhaler, nebulization solution, pill, nasal spray, and rectal forms. The inhaled form is ...

budesonide
) to Tillotts Pharma for US$215 million. In July 2015,
Genzyme Sanofi Genzyme is an American biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area as a m ...
announced it would acquire the rare cancer drug Caprelsa (
vandetanib Vandetanib, sold under the brand name Caprelsa, is an anti-cancer medication Chemotherapy (often abbreviated to chemo and sometimes CTX or CTx) is a type of cancer treatment that uses one or more anti-cancer drugs (list of chemotherapeutic a ...

vandetanib
) from AstraZeneca for up to US$300 million. In August, the company announced it had acquired the global rights to develop and commercialise Heptares Therapeutics' drug candidate HTL-1071, which focuses on blocking the
adenosine Adenosine is an organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compounds that contain carbon-hydrogen chemical bond, bonds. Due to carbon's ability to Catenation, cate ...

adenosine
A2A receptor, in a deal worth up to US$510 million. In the same month the company's MedImmune subsidiary acquired exclusive rights to Inovio Pharmaceuticals' INO-3112 immunotherapy, currently in Phase I/II, under an agreement which could net more than US$727.5 million for Inovio. INO-3112 targets
Human papillomavirus Human papillomavirus infection (HPV infection) is an infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible for g ...
types 16 and 18. In September, Valeant licensed Brodalumab from the company for up to US$445 million. On 6 November it was reported that AstraZeneca had acquired ZS Pharma for US$2.7 billion. In December the company announced its intention to acquire the respiratory portfolio of Takeda Pharmaceutical – namely Alvesco and Omnaris – for US$575 million A day later, the company announced it had taken a 55% majority stake in Acerta for US$4 billion. As part of the transaction the company will gain commercial rights to Acerta's irreversible oral
Bruton's tyrosine kinase Bruton's tyrosine kinase (abbreviated Btk or BTK), also known as tyrosine-protein kinase BTK, is a tyrosine kinase A tyrosine kinase is an enzyme Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large s and s that comprise one or more long cha ...
inhibitor,
acalabrutinib Acalabrutinib, sold under the brand name Calquence, is a medication used to treat a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma known as mantle cell lymphoma. Specifically it is for people who had previously been treated with another therapy. As of 2019, it was ...

acalabrutinib
(ACP-196), which is currently in Phase III development for B-cell blood cancers and in Phase I or II clinical trials in solid tumours. In 2015, it was the eighth-largest drug company in the world based on sales revenue.


2017

In July 2017, the company's CEO
Pascal Soriot Pascal Claude Roland Soriot (born 23 May 1959) is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the pharmaceutical multinational company AstraZeneca, since October 2012. Early life Pascal Soriot was born in France on 23 May 1959. His father died when he ...
said that
Brexit Brexit (; a portmanteau of "British exit") was the Withdrawal from the European Union, withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) at 23:00 31 January 2020 Green ...

Brexit
would not affect its commitment to its current plans in the United Kingdom. However, it had slowed decision making for new investment projects waiting for a post-Brexit regulatory regime to settle down. In September 2017, the company's chairman Leif Johansson planned in taking the "first steps" in moving its research and manufacturing operations away from the United Kingdom, if there is a hard Brexit. In 2017, it was the eleventh largest drug company in the world based on sales and ranked seventh based on R&D investment. In January EVP Pam Cheng stated that AstraZeneca has ignited startup of duplicate QA testing facility in Sweden and has initiated hiring in Sweden.


2018

In February 2018, AstraZeneca announced it was spinning off six early-stage experimental drugs into a new biotechnology company, known as Viela Bio, valued at US$250 million.


2019

In March 2019, AstraZeneca announced it will pay up to US$6.9 billion to work with Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd on an experimental treatment for breast cancer. AstraZeneca plans to use some of the proceeds of a US$3.5 billion share issue to fund the deal. The deal on the drug known as trastuzumab deruxtecan sent shares in Japan's Daiichi soaring 16%. In September 2019, the company announced that it would cease drug production at its German headquarters in
Wedel Wedel is a town in the district of Pinneberg, in Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein () is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 2 ...

Wedel
, leading to the loss of 175 jobs by the end of 2021. In October 2019, AstraZeneca announced it would sell the global commercial rights for its drug to treat acid reflux to German pharmaceutical company Cheplapharm Arzneimittel GmbH for as much as US$276 million.


2020

In February 2020, AstraZeneca agreed to sublicense its global rights (except Europe, Canada and Israel) to the drug , to Redhill Biopharma. In June 2020, AstraZeneca made a preliminary approach to rival drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc. about a potential merger, worth almost US$240 billion. However, these plans were subsequently dropped because it would have distracted the company from its own pipeline and ongoing
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease A contagious disease is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization o ...

COVID-19
vaccine efforts. In July 2020, the business entered into its second collaboration with
Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical company and the second-largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. It achieved JPY 981.8 billion in revenue in 2019. The company owns the American biotechnology company Plexxikon, American pharmaceutical company American R ...
, centred around the development of DS-1062, an antibody drug conjugate. The deal could potentially be worth up to US$6 billion for Daiichi. In September 2020, AstraZeneca announced it had acquired the preclinical oral
PCSK9 Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) is an enzyme encoded by the ''PCSK9'' gene in humans on Chromosome 1 (human), chromosome 1. It is the 9th member of the proprotein convertase family of proteins that activate other proteins. S ...
inhibitor programme from Dogma Therapeutics for an undisclosed sum. In December 2020, AstraZeneca announced that it would acquire
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is an American pharmaceutical company best known for its development of Eculizumab, Soliris, a drug used to treat the rare disorders atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (P ...
in a $39 billion deal. Upon completion of merger, Alexion shareholders will own approximately 15% of combined company. On 27 December 2020, the AstraZeneca chief
Pascal Soriot Pascal Claude Roland Soriot (born 23 May 1959) is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the pharmaceutical multinational company AstraZeneca, since October 2012. Early life Pascal Soriot was born in France on 23 May 1959. His father died when he ...
said that they have “figured out the winning formula” with their two-dose system with the
Oxford University Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2017, its population was estimated at 152,450. It is northwest of London, southeast of Birmingham, and northeast of Bristol. The city is home to the Unive ...

Oxford University
’s
COVID-19 vaccine A COVID‑19 vaccine is a vaccine A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity The adaptive immune system, also referred as the acquired immune system, is a subsystem of the immune system The immune ...
. On 30 December 2020, the United Kingdom approved the emergency use of AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus Vaccine.


Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca's COVID-19 pandemic response

In March 2020, the company announced that it would be donating PPE, including 9 million face masks, to help support various international health organisations mitigating the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global pandemic A pandemic (from , , "all" and , , "local people" the 'crowd') is an of an that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple or worldwide, affecting a substantial numbe ...

COVID-19 pandemic
. In April 2020, Chief Executive
Pascal Soriot Pascal Claude Roland Soriot (born 23 May 1959) is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the pharmaceutical multinational company AstraZeneca, since October 2012. Early life Pascal Soriot was born in France on 23 May 1959. His father died when he ...
, reported that the company was working with
GlaxoSmithKline GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) is a British multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinati ...

GlaxoSmithKline
and the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
to develop a new laboratory capable of conducting 30,000
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease A contagious disease is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization o ...

COVID-19
tests per day. The company also announced plans for a clinical trial to assess the potential use of
Calquence Acalabrutinib, sold under the brand name Calquence, is a medication used to treat a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma known as mantle cell lymphoma. Specifically it is for people who had previously been treated with another therapy. As of 2019, it was ...
in the treatment of COVID-19. In June 2020, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed that the third phase of testing for potential COVID-19 vaccine, vaccines developed by University of Oxford, Oxford University and AstraZeneca would begin in July 2020. One of them, AZD1222, reached phase III trials. On 23 November 2020, Oxford–AstraZeneca announced the vaccine's successful trial, preventing 70% of people developing symptoms. The researchers thought that the figure might be as high as 90% if they tweaked the dose. In January 2021, India approved the use of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine, paving the way for a mass immunisation campaign in the world's second most populous country. It was announced that the Oxford–AstraZeneca shot would be made locally by the Serum Institute of India (SII) with a brand name COVISHIELD. On 29 January 2021, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for AZD1222 in people from 18 years of age. By mid-March 2021, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria and Ireland had suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to worries over six cases of a "rare combination" of blood clots with lowered blood platelets. The temporary halt was against the advice of the European Union's medicines regulator who said the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh any potential risks. On 30 March 2021, the Swedish Medicines Agency, Medical Products Agency (Sweden), Läkemedelsverket, announced that following the prior approval of the EMA it would change the name of the vaccine to Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, stressing that only the name of the vaccine would change, not the composition. On 6 April 2021, EMA head of vaccines Marco Cavaleri announced that it could be declared that there was a link between the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 (Vaxzevria) vaccine and blood clots.


Acquisition history

The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers and acquisitions and historical predecessors: *AstraZeneca **AstraZeneca (Merged 1999) ***
Astra AB Astra AB was a former international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Södertälje Södertälje ( , ) is a Urban areas in Sweden, city in Södermanland and Stockholm County, Sweden and seat of Södertälje Municipality. As of 2017, it has ...
(Founded 1913) ****Tika (Acq 1939) ***Zeneca (Spun off from
Imperial Chemical Industries Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was a British chemical A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday obje ...
, 1993)
****Salick Health Care (Acq 1996) ****Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha (US fungicide operations, Acq 1997) **KuDOS Pharmaceuticals (Acq 2005) **MedImmune Biologics ***
Cambridge Antibody Technology Cambridge Antibody Technology (officially Cambridge Antibody Technology Group Plc, informally CAT) was a biotechnology company headquartered in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom ...
(Acq 2006) ****Aptein Inc (Acq 1998) ***
MedImmune MedImmune, LLC was a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca AstraZeneca plc () is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in ...
(Acq 2007) ****Definiens (Acq 2014) **Arrow Therapeutics (Acq 2007) **Novexel Corp (Acq 2010) **Guangdong BeiKang Pharmaceutical Company (Acq 2011) **Ardea Biosciences (Acq 2012) **
Amylin Pharmaceuticals Amylin Pharmaceuticals was a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and immediately adjacent to the Mexico–United States border, Mexican ...

Amylin Pharmaceuticals
(Acq 2012 jointly with Bristol-Myers Squibb) **Spirogen (Acq 2013) **Pearl Therapeutics (Acq 2013) **Omthera Pharmaceuticals (Acq 2013) **ZS Pharma (Acq 2015) **
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is an American pharmaceutical company best known for its development of Eculizumab, Soliris, a drug used to treat the rare disorders atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (P ...
(Acq TBD) ***Proliferon Inc (Acq 2000, restructured into Alexion Antibody Technologies Inc) ***Enobia Pharma Corp (Acq 2011) ***Synageva BioPharma (Acq 2015) ***Wilson Therapeutics (Acq 2018) ***Syntimmune (Acq 2018) ***Achillion Pharmaceuticals (Acq 2019) ***Portola Pharmaceuticals (Acq 2020)


Operations

AstraZeneca develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceutical and biotechnology products to treat disorders in the
oncology Oncology is a branch of medicine Medicine is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organizes knowledge in the form ...
,
cardiovascular The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system or the vascular system, is an organ system An organ system is a biological system A biological system is a complex biological network, network which connects several biological ...
,
gastrointestinal The gastrointestinal tract, (GI tract, GIT, digestive tract, digestion tract, alimentary canal) is the tract from the mouth to the anus which includes all the organs of the digestive system The human digestive system consists of the human ...
,
infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible for guests at an event or for providing hospitality during it. Host may ...
,
neuroscience Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system In biology, the classical doctrine of the nervous system determines that it is a Complex system, highly complex part of an animal that coordinates its Behavior, actions and Sens ...

neuroscience
,
respiratory The respiratory system (also respiratory apparatus, ventilatory system) is a biological system A biological system is a complex network Network and networking may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * ''Network'' (1976 film), a 1976 Ame ...
and
inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anato ...
areas. AstraZeneca has its corporate headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and its main
research and development Research and development (R&D, R+D), known in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geogra ...
(R&D) centers are in Cambridge (UK), Gaithersburg (Maryland, US), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Warsaw (Poland).


Orphan drugs

In April 2015, AstraZeneca's drug tremelimumab was approved as an orphan drug for the treatment of mesothelioma in the United States. In February 2016, AstraZeneca announced that a clinical trial of tremelimumab as a treatment for mesothelioma failed to meet its primary endpoint.


Senior management

As of 2008, David Brennan was paid US$1,574,144 for his role as chief executive officer. On 26 April 2012, it was announced that Brennan was to retire in early June of that year.AstraZeneca boss David Brennan quits under pressure from investors
''The Guardian'', 26 April 2012
In August 2012,
Pascal Soriot Pascal Claude Roland Soriot (born 23 May 1959) is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the pharmaceutical multinational company AstraZeneca, since October 2012. Early life Pascal Soriot was born in France on 23 May 1959. His father died when he ...
was named CEO of AstraZeneca. It was also announced that Leif Johansson would succeed Louis Schweitzer (businessman), Louis Schweitzer as non-executive chairman on 1 June 2012, three months earlier than previously announced, and would become Chairman of the Nomination and Governance Committee after the 2012 Annual General Meeting.


Controversies


Seroquel

In April 2010, AstraZeneca settled a ''qui tam'' lawsuit brought by Stefan P. Kruszewski for US$520 million to settle allegations that the company defrauded Medicare (United States), Medicare, Medicaid, and other government-funded health care programs in connection with its marketing and promotional practices for the blockbuster atypical antipsychotic, Seroquel. According to the settlement agreement, AstraZeneca targeted its illegal marketing of the anti-psychotic Seroquel towards doctors who do not typically treat schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, such as physicians who treat the elderly, primary care physicians, pediatric and adolescent physicians, and in long-term care facilities and prisons. In March 2011, AstraZeneca settled a lawsuit in the United States totalling US$68.5 million to be divided up to 38 states.


Nexium

The company's most commercially successful medication is esomeprazole (Nexium). The primary uses are treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, treatment and maintenance of erosive esophagitis, treatment of duodenal ulcers caused by ''Helicobacter pylori'', prevention of gastric ulcers in those on chronic NSAID therapy, and treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers associated with Crohn's disease. When it is manufactured the result is a mixture of two enantiomer, mirror-imaged molecules, R and S. Two years before the omeprazole patent expired, AstraZeneca patented S-omeprazole in pure form, pointing out that since some people metabolise R-omeprazole slowly, pure S-omeprazole treatment would give higher dose efficiency and less variation between individuals. In March 2001, the company began to market Esomeprazole, Nexium, as it would a brand new drug. The (R)-enantiomer of omeprazole is metabolized exclusively by the enzyme CYP2C19, which is expressed in very low amounts by 3% of the population. Treated with a normal dose of the enantiomeric mixture, these persons will experience blood levels five-times higher than those with normal CYP2C19 production. In contrast, esomeprazole is metabolized by both CYP2C19 and CYP3A4, providing less-variable drug exposure. While omeprazole is approved only at doses of up to 20 mg for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux, esomeprazole is approved for doses up to 40 mg. In 2007, Marcia Angell, former editor in chief, editor-in-chief of the ''New England Journal of Medicine'' and a lecturer in social medicine at the Harvard Medical School, said in ''Stern (magazine), Stern'', a German-language weekly newsmagazine, that AstraZeneca's scientists had misrepresented their research on the drug's efficiency, saying "Instead of using presumably comparable doses [of each drug], the company's scientists used Nexium in higher dosages. They compared 20 and 40 mg Nexium with 20 mg Prilosec. With the cards having been marked in that way, Nexium looked like an improvement – which however was only small and shown in only two of the three studies."


Bildman fraud and faithless servant clawback

On 4 February 1998, Astra USA sued Lars Bildman, its former president and chief executive officer, seeking US$15 million for Fraud, defrauding the company. The sum included US$2.3 million in company funds he allegedly used to fix up three of his homes, plus money the company paid as the result of the EEOC investigation. Astra's lawsuit alleged Bildman sexually harassed and intimidated employees, used company funds for yachts and prostitutes, destroyed documents and business record, records, and concocted "tales of Conspiracy (crime), conspiracy involving ex-KGB espionage, agents and competitors. This was in a last-ditch effort to distract attention from the real wrongdoer, Bildman himself." Bildman had already pleaded guilty in US District Court for failing to report more than US$1 million in income on his Tax return (United States), tax returns; in addition, several female co-workers filed personal sexual-harassment lawsuits. In ''Astra USA v. Bildman'', 914 N.E.2d 36 (Mass. 2009), applying New York's faithless servant doctrine, the court held that a company's employee who had engaged in financial misdeeds and sexual harassment must "forfeit all of his salary and bonuses for the period of disloyalty." The court held that this was the case even if the employee "otherwise performed valuable services," and that the employee was not entitled to recover restitution for the value of those other services. The decision attracted a good deal of attention by legal commentators.


CAFÉ study

In 2004, University of Minnesota research participant Dan Markingson Death of Dan Markingson, committed suicide while enrolled in an industry-sponsored pharmaceutical trial comparing three FDA-approved atypical antipsychotics: Quetiapine, Seroquel (quetiapine), Olanzapine, Zyprexa (olanzapine), and Risperidone, Risperdal (risperidone). University of Minnesota Professor of Bioethics Carl Elliott (philosopher), Carl Elliott noted that Markingson was enrolled in the study against the wishes of his mother, Mary Weiss, and that he was forced to choose between enrolling in the study or being involuntarily committed to a state mental institution. A 2005 FDA investigation cleared the university. Nonetheless, controversy around the case has continued. A Mother Jones (magazine), ''Mother Jones'' article resulted in a group of university faculty members sending a public letter to the university Board of Regents urging an external investigation into Markingson's death.


Transfer mispricing

In 2010, AstraZeneca agreed to pay £505 million to settle a UK tax dispute related to transfer mispricing.


Conflicting commitments to the UK and the EU

In August 2020 AstraZeneca declared towards the European Commission and the EU member states: :"13.1. AstraZeneca represents, warrants and covenants to the Commission and the Participating Member States that: [...] (e) it is not under any obligation, contractual or otherwise, to any Person or third party in respect of the Initial Europe Doses or that conflicts with or is inconsistent in any material respect with the terms of this Agreement or would impede the complete fulfilment of its obligation under this Agreement;" However, the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, declared in March 2021 that the United Kingdom had been given "exclusivity" and that the EU's treaty was "inferior". After placing the order for AstraZeneca's vaccine, the European Commission mistakenly assumed that it had enough vaccines and initially ordered only 200 million doses from Pfizer–BioNTech when the manufacturers offered 500 million doses to the EU in November 2020. However, the contract that AstraZeneca reached with the UK was very similar to that it reached with the EU, and it also contained the phrase "best reasonable efforts"; the UK contract was signed on 28 August 2020, a day after the contract with the EU. The key difference seems to be that AstraZenica entered into a preliminary agreement with the U.K. back in May 2020 which arranged for "the development of a dedicated supply chain for the U.K." This issue contributed to the low vaccination rates of the vulnerable populations of the European Union at the beginning of the outbreak of more virulent variants of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2 in spring 2021.


See also

* Pharmaceutical industry in the United Kingdom * List of pharmaceutical companies


Notes and references


External links

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