Thursday 22 August 2019 11:40 am

Astrazeneca buys drug fast-track voucher for $95m

Astrazeneca splashed out $95m today to get one of its drugs fast-tracked through the approval process in the US.

The drugs giant said it had bought a so-called priority review voucher (PRV) from a subsidiary of Orphan Biovitrum, a Swedish pharmaceutical company.

Read more: Astrazeneca faces setback in lung cancer trials

The voucher gives Astra the chance to get one of its drugs further up US Food and Drug Administration’s queue.

This “reduces the target review time and may potentially lead to an expedited approval,” the company said in a statement.

It bumps Astrazeneca up the FDA’s queue, but not all the way to the top.

FDA reviews normally take around 12 months, and can be sped up to six months under a fast track review. The priority review which Astra bought normally falls in between the two.

Astra did not reveal what drug it will use the PRV for.

In July chief executive Pascal Soriot said that the company has five products “that could be blockbusters by the end of this year.”

Read more: Heart patients given boost by Astrazeneca drug trials

He added: “We have another five that are either in launch phase or are about to be filed that have the potential to also become blockbusters.”

The main drugs are generally seen to include tagrisso, lynparza, imfinzi, brilinta, farxiga and fasenra.