As Demand for Covid Vaccines Falls, AstraZeneca Lines Up ‘Blockbuster' Products for 2023

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  • Demand for Covid-19 vaccines has dropped, but AstraZeneca has "blockbuster" projects in development that are set to make billions of dollars, according to its Chief Financial Officer, Aradhana Sarin.
  • Breast cancer and kidney disease are among the conditions the pharmaceutical company is looking to tackle with its new drugs.

Demand for Covid-19 vaccines has dropped as the pandemic enters its fourth year, but AstraZeneca says it has "blockbuster" projects in development that are set to make billions of dollars.



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"We expect to start 30 phase three clinical trials this year, of which we expect to hopefully land more than 10 products that will be blockbuster products, or products that will hopefully achieve more than a billion in revenue," Chief Financial Officer Aradhana Sarin told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Thursday.

"Really it's the revenue growth on the top line but also the reinvestment in the business that continues to fuel innovation and continues to fuel long term growth," she added.

The British-Swedish pharmaceutical company forecast growth in earnings and revenue for 2023 Thursday, with its underlying businesses helping the company to post $901 million in net profit for the fourth quarter.

AstraZeneca's oncology business grew around 20%, its cardiovascular, renal and metabolism business grew around 19%, respiratory and immunology increased by 3% and its rare diseases business grew around 10%.

"It's really across the board that we see strong growth, and also across all geographies," Sarin told CNBC.

Drugs in the pipeline

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot shared details of some of the drugs currently undergoing phase three trials in a media conference Thursday.

Camizestrant is an oral drug that "significantly" reduced the risk of progression of, or death caused by, certain types of breast cancer by 42% at a 75mg dose. That's compared to Faslodex, the industry standard selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD) drug.

AstroZeneca is set to acquire CinCor Pharma, giving it rights to the cardiorenal drug baxdrostat, which will be trialed in its effectiveness in treating resistant hypertension and chronic kidney disease.

The last drug Soriot mentioned as having "promising data" is asfotase alpha, which could improve the standard of care for patients with hypophosphatasia, a rare genetic disease that causes the calcification of bones and teeth.

Soriot said AstraZeneca was "on track to deliver industry-leading revenue growth through 2025 and beyond," with the company on a path to deliver "at least" 15 new medicines before the end of the decade.

Shares of AstraZeneca were up 5% around 10 a.m. London time Thursday morning, before dropping slightly to 4.7% around midday.

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