(News Bulletin 247) – The revenues of the British pharmaceutical group rose sharply in the third quarter. But at the same time, its expenses have grown much faster. AstraZeneca share retreats.

- Advertisement -

Small drop in financial shape for AstraZeneca. The British pharmaceutical group fell in the red in the third quarter because of the increase in research costs and commercial expenses, despite the increase in revenues boosted in particular by the vaccine against the Covid and the takeover of the biotech Alexion.

True, revenue jumped 50% to $ 9.9 billion in the third quarter, in part due to the merger with Alexion, whose revenue ($ 1.3 billion in the quarter) is recorded from end of July. But at the same time, commercial expenses tripled over one year (to $ 3.7 billion), research costs more than doubled (to 3.6 billion) and the Anglo-Swedish group paid $ 350 million in ‘taxes against a tax credit last year. Also, AstraZeneca posted a net loss of $ 1.65 billion over the period, compared to a profit of 651 million a year earlier.

- Advertisement -

Over the first nine months of the year, the group remains largely profitable. AstraZeneca posted sales of $ 25.4 billion (+ 32% year-on-year) for net income of $ 461 million. Revenues include over the nine months since the start of the year $ 2.2 billion in sales of the Covid-19 vaccine (or 8.7% of sales), of which $ 736 million in Europe, corresponding to 580 million doses sold worldwide. AstraZeneca has undertaken, by acquiring the vaccine license from Oxfort University, to sell its vaccine at cost price.

A cocktail of antibodies against Covid-19 on track

The boss of the group, the French Pascal Soriot, noted “the strong growth in turnover and an exceptional delivery of drugs in development, with 8 in late phase including the combination of antibodies promising in the prevention and treatment of covid -19 “. The group had indicated a month ago to have obtained positive results in phase 3 clinical trials (last phase of clinical trials before possible marketing) on ​​its drug AZD7442, a cocktail of antibodies against Covid-19.

“The addition of Alexion reinforces our commitment to bring innovative therapies to patients around the world”, and “we plan to end the year on a solid footing, maintaining our forecasts,” adds Mr. Soriot.

The Swedish-British pharmaceutical group announced in mid-July that it had obtained the green light from the United Kingdom for the acquisition of 39 billion dollars of the American biotech Alexion, specializing in rare diseases.

On the stock market, the title AstraZeneca is hit on Friday, with a decline of 3.9% around 10:50 am. However, the action has remained up by more than 22% since the start of the year.

(With AFP)