Generic competition has adversely impacted
) revenues over the past few quarters. This has put significant
pressure on the company. AstraZeneca is looking towards
cost-cutting initiatives to drive the bottom line.
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AstraZeneca is also working on re-vamping its pipeline. In a bid
to add late-stage candidates to its pipeline, AstraZeneca entered
into a number of acquisition deals (Pearl Therapeutics and
Omthera Pharmaceuticals) in the last few months and struck
agreements with companies like FibroGen, Inc.
The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products
for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the approval of the
company's quadrivalent spray nasal vaccine Fluenz Tetra. The CHMP
recommended the approval of the vaccine for the prevention of
seasonal influenza in children and adolescents aged between 24
months and 17 years.
The positive CHMP opinion was based on encouraging data from a
pivotal pediatric study.
Fluenz Tetra contains two strains of influenza A and two strains
of influenza B, which would provide an edge over currently
marketed trivalent vaccine, Fluenz. If approved by the European
Commission, Fluenz Tetra will be available from the 2014-2015 flu
season instead of Fluenz.
We note that Fluenz Tetra is already marketed in the U.S. under
the trade name FluMist Quadrivalent. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) approved FluMist Quadrivalent in Feb 2012.
Currently approved quadrivalent influenza vaccines include
) Flulaval Quadrivalent and
) quadrivalent formulation of Fluzone.
AstraZeneca currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). At present,
) look well-positioned with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).