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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 01, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

I-catching R&D

Like other pharma companies before it, AstraZeneca plc has concluded the best way to increase its innovative capacity is to create smaller near-autonomous disease area-focused units and make its own internal activities compete head-to-head with external opportunities for R&D funds. The new strategy unveiled at last week's annual results meeting adds another wrinkle:promising projects will need to demonstrate they are cost effective in the eyes of payers.

CEO David Brennan said the company achieved significant launches of Onglyza saxagliptin for Type II diabetes in collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., and for Iressa gefitinib in Europe to treat locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in patients with activating mutations of EGFR. The pharma also has five opportunities for new products in 2010.

But Brennan also noted that upcoming patent expiries of key drugs and increasing pressure on prices have forced a radical rethink of R&D strategy.

"If there is one overarching theme to our plans, it is recognizing that the fundamental strategic imperative for AstraZeneca and...

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