Investors eye a turnaround at AstraZeneca following progress on new drugs

 
Courtney Goldsmith
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AstraZeneca investors are hoping for news of a turnaround
AstraZeneca investors are hoping for news of a turnaround (Source: AstraZeneca)

One of the world's top pharmaceuticals companies will report its results this week following a spate of recent drug approvals.

Over the past month, AstraZeneca has received approval for its drug Lynparza in Japan for the treatment of ovarian cancer and in the US to treat breast cancer. It also got the green light from both the EU and Japan for its Fasenra asthma treatment, and its Tagrisso lung cancer drug made progress through US regulatory hurdles in December.

The news kept pouring in last week as AstraZeneca reported positive results for its inhaler for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which could challenge a similar product by rival GlaxoSmithKline. AstraZeneca will make regulatory submissions in Japan and China later this year, possibly followed by submission in the US and Europe next year.

In recent years, AstraZeneca has lagged behind other pharma giants in launching new medicines to replace its older drugs, but earlier this month the company revealed research productivity had shot up due to a focus on fewer diseases as well as laboratory and staff cuts.

In November, the company's third-quarter results fuelled hopes of a turnaround with a quarterly rise in sales narrowing the gap for its year-to-date revenues to a four per cent decline on the previous year.

Shares in the company have also managed to recover following a steep drop over the summer after it said trials of a hotly anticipated lung cancer treatment, dubbed Mystic, had not met expectations.

The FTSE 100 firm's shares closed up 1.93 per cent at 5,095p on Friday.

AstraZeneca will report its full-year results on Friday, 2 February.

Read more: AstraZeneca lifts earnings guidance as sales decline slows

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