AstraZeneca records robust Q2 sales and shrugs off COVID-19 revenue decline

28 Jul 2023
VaccinePhase 3Phase 2Gene TherapymRNA
Headline results for the second quarter:
Revenue: $11.4 billion (forecasts of $10.97 billion), up 6%
Profit: $1.8 billion, versus $360 million in the prior year
Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated
What the company said:
Commenting on performance for the year to date, AstraZeneca noted that each of its non-COVID-19 therapy areas saw double-digit revenue growth, with eight medicines delivering more than $1 billion of revenue in the first half of 2024. CEO Pascal Soriot said: “our pipeline momentum continues with eight positive pivotal trials for our oncology medicines so far this year, and we are encouraged by the positive data from TROPION-Lung01, the first pivotal trial of datopotamab deruxtecan. We look forward to sharing the data with the medical community at an upcoming medical congress and are proceeding to file the data with the FDA.”
Other results:
Oncology product sales: $4.4 billion, up 18%
Tagrisso: $1.5 billion, up 7%
Imfinzi: $1.1 billion, up 55%
Lynparza: $717 million, up 7%
Calquence: $653 million, up 34%
Enhertu: $67 million, with the company also recording $255 million in alliance revenue from the product from partner Daiichi Sankyo
Cardiovascular, renal and metabolic disease product sales: $2.7 billion, up 14%
Farxiga: $1.5 billion, up 36%
Brilinta: $331 million, down 5%
Rare disease product sales: $2 billion, up 8%
Soliris: $814 million, down 21%
Ultomiris: $613 million, up 64%
Respiratory and immunology product sales: $1.5 billion, up 7%
Symbicort: $600 million, down 2%
Fasenra: $406 million, up 15%
Pulmicort: $124 million, up 7%
Emerging market sales: $3.1 billion, up 12%, with sales in China flat at $1.4 billion
AstraZeneca reported no sales of its COVID-19 vaccine versus $445 million in the second quarter of 2022.
Looking ahead:
AstraZeneca reaffirmed that it expects revenue this year to increase by a low-to-mid single-digit percentage on a constant exchange rate basis, while stripping out COVID-19 medicines is forecast to lead to a low double-digit percentage rise. The company indicated that sales in China are expected to return to growth and increase by a low to mid single-digit percentage. Meanwhile, core earnings per share are seen increasing by a high single-digit to low double-digit percentage.
What analysts said:
Morgan Stanley analysts noted: "the majority of the product sales beat was driven by Imfinzi (+17% ahead), which has been given a new lease of life in combination with Imjudo in liver, lung and biliary tract cancers, and strong demand for Farxiga (+11% ahead) in heart failure and kidney disease." They also noted that Enhertu beat consensus expectations by 11%, with global sales of $661m (versus $508m in 1Q23) reflecting rapid adoption in HER2-low breast cancer in the US and strong uptake in breast and gastric cancer in ex-US markets.
Pipeline updates:
AstraZeneca separately announced on Friday that it has acquired a portfolio of preclinical gene therapy assets from Pfizer. The company confirmed that its clinical development programme for brazikumab in inflammatory bowel diseases has been discontinued following a review of the drug’s development timeline and a Phase III trial evaluating Fasenra in bullous pemphigoid was discontinued for futility (efficacy). Phase II development of the CDK9 inhibitorCDK9 inhibitor AZD4573 in haematological malignancies has been discontinued and AZD0186 (oral GLP-1 in type 2 diabetes), AZD0466 (haematological malignancies) and AZD3366 (cardiovascular disease) have all been discontinued in Phase I.
Phase III data for Enhertu (DESTINY-Breast06) in HER2-low breast cancer, Tagrisso (LAURA) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and Imfinzi (NILE) in bladder cancer are expected in the first half of 2024, with AstraZeneca having previously guided to readout in the second half of this year
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