AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (which does business as AstraZeneca US) can help with a full alphabet of ailments. The company, a subsidiary of global drugmaker AstraZeneca, is one of the largest pharma companies in the US. Its sales represent about 5% of all the drugs sold in the US and about 40% of its parent company's revenues. AstraZeneca US' treatments focus on several therapeutic areas: cardiovascular and metabolic, gastrointestinal, neuroscience, oncology, respiratory, and infection. Its best-known products include Crestor (high cholesterol), Seroquel (anti-psychotic), Nexium (acid reflux), Symbicort (asthma), and Zoladex (cancer treatment).
The company's R&D operations at its main facility in Wilmington, Delaware, focus on the development of treatments for disorders of the central nervous system. It is the headquarters for parent AstraZeneca's global neuroscience research operations; Seroquel and migraine treatment Zomig were both developed at this facility. At another location in nearby Newark, Delaware, AstraZeneca US manufactures and distributes products across all therapeutic areas, including Seroquel and Arimidex.
The company also conducts research in Boston, Massachusetts, on cancer and infectious disease therapies through subsidiary AstraZeneca R&D Boston; that research facility underwent expansion and enhancement efforts during 2007 and 2008 to expand its infection research operations. Another Boston-area facility manufactures injectable, topical, and respule (inhalation suspension) pharmaceuticals.
As parent AstraZeneca's largest territory, sales in the US market are key to the organization's growth. As such, it regularly works to launch new drugs in the US market through R&D efforts, acquisitions, and partnerships. For instance, in 2010 the firm launched Onglyza for diabetes through a partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb. It also launched arthritis drug Vimovo in 2010, and it gained FDA approval to market cardiovascular drug Brilinta and thyroid cancer drug Caprelsa in 2011. Sales losses from patent expirations are also being countered by organic sales increases for existing therapies including Crestor, Seroquel, and asthma drug Symbicort.
However, the company's growth efforts are hindered by patent expiration (and the ensuing generic competition) for its bestselling drugs. In recent years the company has lost US patent protection for top selling therapies including asthma treatment Pulmicort, cancer drug Arimidex, hypertension therapy Toprol-XL, and antibiotic Merrem, leading to a 2% decrease in US revenues in 2011 (following a 10% decrease in 2010). Certain formulations of bestseller Seroquel also lost patent protection in 2012.
As a result of the increasingly competitive market conditions, AstraZeneca has been conducting cost-cutting efforts, including workforce reductions, across its global locations. The firm is also streamlining its R&D organization to focus on late-stage candidates in its core therapeutic areas. – less