Astra Zeneca takes a double whammy
London - Nothing is well if the end is not well. For Astra Zeneca the end of 2011 isn't well at all. A new anti-ovarian cancer drug and a planned antidepressant have underperformed in tests. As a result, AstraZeneca will take a hit of EUR292m in the fourth quarter.
“AstraZeneca seems to have had more than its fair share of misfortune when it comes to the development pipeline,” analysts at Barclays Capital in London wrote in a note to investors today.
The U.K. drugmaker acquired olaparib when it bought KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in 2006 for $210 million. AstraZeneca said in January that it had shifted the focus of olaparib’s development to ovarian cancer from breast cancer.
The anti-depression drug, TC-5214, failed in the second of four late- stage efficacy trials in patients with major depressive disorder for whom antidepressants alone didn’t work, London-based AstraZeneca said in a statement today. AstraZeneca had licensed the depression treatment from Targacept Inc. in 2009 in a deal valued as high as EUR 950m. Targacept declined 36 percent at the stock exchange.