In an update from an older article, in witch AstraZenca sued the FDA over releasing a generic Seroquel, a U.S. judge denied the drugmaker’s request for a preliminary injunction that would delay copycat rivals.
As a result, generic copies of the original instant-release form of Seroquel can hit the U.S. market now that AstraZeneca’s patent expired–an event that will have a significant impact on both sales and profits.
“We knew this was coming, and we have a business strategy,” Tony Jewell, an AstraZeneca spokesman told the News Journal. “Patent expiration is a standard feature of our business and, in most cases, the timing is entirely predictable, and that’s the case of Seroquel IR facing patent expiration.”
“Given that, we are changing the way we operate, and continue driving the growth of new brands and generating profits. That will allow us to remain a strong and sustainable business into the future.”
The company, which is a pure drug play, has worked hard to give investors transparency, outlining a five-year plan while focusing on maximizing shareholder returns with high dividends and share buybacks.
But shareholders remain worried by the group’s lack of promising new drugs which are increasingly needed to replace revenues lost due to drug patent expiries.
With time nipping at the company’s heels, analysts say a big acquisition looks increasingly possible. Several have suggested them teaming up with a number of pharmaceutical companies.But some investors question whether Mr. Brennan, who has been in the top job for six years, will continue to lead the company–especially now that it has picked former Volvo boss Leif Johansson as its next chairman, offering scope for change.