AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) surges over 5.84% to $68.12 in pre trading session on Thursday after The company forecasted growth in earnings and revenue in 2023 as it seeks to offset declining sales of COVID-19 medicines with cancer, metabolic, and rare disease drugs.
Its shares rose 5% in early trade to rank second on London’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index, on track for their best day in a year.
According to CEO Pascal Soriot, the company is on track to release at least 15 new medicines this decade. After reporting a second consecutive quarter of growth despite price pressure, the company forecasted a return to growth in China, one of its key markets.
During a news conference, Soriot stated that based on their progress in developing existing and new medicines, they will enter 2023 on track to meet their industry-leading growth ambitions for 2025, as well as beyond until 2030.
The 2023 guidance alleviated some analysts’ concerns that higher expenses would erode profits as the company prepares for a flurry of clinical trials and drug launches. “We think this result/guide is good given the concerns about margins going into results,” Barclays analyst Emily Field said, noting that the earnings guidance was at the higher end of her expectations.
At constant currency rates, adjusted earnings per share are expected to increase by a “high single-digit to low double-digit percentage” and revenue by a “low-to-mid single-digit percentage” in 2023.
Revenue excluding COVID-19 medicines is expected to rise in the low double digits. The company predicted that core operating expenses would rise by a low-to-mid single-digit percentage this year. The pharmaceutical company also reported higher-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and revenue that fell just short of company-compiled analyst estimates.
Abbvie (NYSE: ABBV) intends To Raise $2B Deal Cap
Abbvie (NYSE: ABBV) inches up in early session on Thursday as the company’s chief executive officer told the Wall Street Journal that after a $63 billion deal for Botox maker Allergan in 2020 that increased its debt, the company will lift a self-imposed $2 billion limit on acquisitions and mergers.
Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said the company now has the capacity “to do more”, in an interview with WSJ that was published on Monday. The remarks come as the company prepares to face competition in the United States for its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira, which has been a major revenue driver for years.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. Abbvie hopes to offset the loss of revenue from Humira with its newer immunology drugs Skyrizi and Rinvoqn, which are expected to generate more than $21 billion in sales by 2027.
Bristol-Myers Squibb & Co (NYSE: BMY) Paid $475M in Near-Term And Upfront Payments
Bristol-Myers Squibb & Co (NYSE: BMY) plunges in pre session on Thursday as Dragonfly Therapeutics’ IL-12 oncology candidate has been returned to the company. In 2020, BMS paid $475 million in near-term and upfront payments to license the DF6002 interleukin-12 (IL-12) immunotherapy program.
In a phase 1/2 trial, the therapy is being evaluated as a monotherapy and in combination with BMS’ cancer blockbuster Opdivo in patients with various solid tumors (Nivolumab). BMS is still conducting clinical development for DF6002, according to the press release, but Dragonfly will take over in the coming weeks. Dragonfly now owns all rights to the IL12 cytokine, which is the most advanced drug in the company’s cytokine pipeline.
Bristol-Myers Squibb exercised its option to enter into an exclusive license agreement with Dragonfly Therapeutics for a sixth TriNKET Immunotherapy drug candidate last month. This is the first TriNKET opt-in announcement outside of oncology. Dragonfly will receive a $25 million payment and will be eligible for future milestones and net sales royalties.