AstraZeneca plc's latest iteration of business development is pushing the center of gravity even further toward R&D. After a 2012 restructuring put search and evaluation for early stage assets into the hands of researchers, the pharma is now implanting business development teams into therapeutic areas at all stages of development.

A Global Portfolio and Product Strategy (GPPS) unit now provides strategic oversight for R&D, business development and commercial for each therapeutic area from discovery through market. While GPPS was announced in January, the company hasn't discussed its new business development structure publicly until now.