AstraZeneca remodels its house

While it was a latecomer to partnering and M&A as a means of bolstering its pipeline, AstraZeneca plc under the stewardship of CEO David Brennan has sent a strong message to the market that it is open for business. On its 4Q call last week, the company provided a shopping list of areas it wants to grow from scratch, areas in which it wants to maintain a strong position, and areas it plans to walk away from.

The pharma backed that up by announcing three new deals designed to enhance its pipeline in two new areas and one where it plans to build on an existing franchise.

The planned acquisition of Arrow Therapeutics Ltd. will move AstraZeneca (LSE:AZN; AZN, London, U.K.) into antivirals for the first time. The in-licensing of a library and discovery platform from Palatin Technologies Inc. falls into AZN's new interest in diabetes, while the acquisition of a preclinical program in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from Argenta Discovery Ltd. should bolster the pharma's already significant respiratory franchise.

The three transactions are the latest in a series of deals done in the past 15 months or so in which AZN has sought to bolster its pipeline in line with

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