AstraZeneca acquires rare medicines business Alexion
AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) saw its revenues surge during H1 thanks to its development of new medicines and sales of its coronavirus vaccine.
The pharmaceutical company made $1.2bn in sales from the vaccine over the six month period ending in June, rising from $275m in Q1.
It has been suggested that the Astrazeneca vaccine is superior to its rivals in combatting the pandemic as it is more affordable and easier to use. AstraZeneca and it has supplied 1bn doses to 170 countries so far.
$572m of vaccine sales during H1 came from Europe, while $455m came from emerging markets. The FTSE 100 company pledged to produce the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.
In non-vaccine news, AstraZeneca acquired rare medicines business Alexion, an addition to its expanding cancer medicines unit.
With Alexion taken into account, AstraZeneca expects its total revenue to rise by over 20% this year, excluding sales from the vaccine.
The AstraZeneca share price is up by 0.21% just before lunchtime on Thursday.
Sheena Berry, equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, commented on the pharma company’s results:
“AstraZeneca’s core business continues to generate good growth with sales up by a quarter on the month. Even without factoring in the revenue from the Covid-19 vaccine, sales of other pharmaceutical lines increased by 12% to $7.3bn, 2% higher than expectations,” said Berry.
“Demographic trends and the swelling middle classes in emerging markets continue to act as a big tailwind for the pharmaceutical business, with EM sales up 31% and sales in China up 12%.”
“AstraZeneca has updated its guidance following the completion of the Alexion acquisition last week. Alexion specialises in orphan drugs to treat rare diseases, and offers both margin expansion and Improved cash generation for the wider group.”
“AstraZeneca has increased revenue guidance from the low-teens to the low-twenties percentage, excluding any contribution from the Covid-19 vaccine, but it seems likely this may prove to be a conservative estimate.”