AstraZeneca has claimed “strong” financial results for the full year 2022 as rising demand for cancer drugs offset a decline in Covid vaccine revenue.
AstraZeneca shares jumped on the news as the firm said it expects another year of double-digit revenue growth in 2023.
The British firm’s strong results came as it won a record 34 drug approvals in key markets last year as US and EU regulators allowed AstraZeneca to start selling new drugs.
The pharma giant’s revenue rose 25 percent annually to $44.35 billion, as sales from its cancer-fighting oncology business — which now accounts for more than a third of AstraZeneca’s total revenue — soared 19 percent.
Global sales of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine plunged 53 per cent as supply contracts expired, buoyed by a boost in earnings from the Cambridgeshire firm’s oncology segment.
AstraZeneca’s ‘Oxford’ Covid vaccine got approval from UK regulators on 30 December 2020, after which it was delivered to billions of people around the world.
But the Cambridge-based firm reported a 94 per cent drop in sales of its Covid vaccine Vaxzeveria in the last quarter of 2022.
The business sold Vaxzevria worth $1.8bn (£1.5bn) a year ago, but only $95m (£78.7m) worth of sales in the last three months of last year.
AstraZeneca said it expects sales of its COVID-19 drugs to decline “significantly” this year, largely driven by the vaccine.
Revenue from AstraZeneca’s oncology business rose to $15.53 billion, as countries around the world expanded access to the British firm’s portfolio of cancer drugs.
The firm also secured a record 34 approvals for new drugs in key markets, including the US green light for Airsupra asthma drug as well as four EU approvals for the firm’s cancer treatments.
AstraZeneca also plans to complete more than 30 final Phase III trials in 2023, as it steps up efforts to bring at least 15 entirely new drugs to market before the end of the decade.
AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot vowed to continue “investing” in the firm’s drug development pipeline as well as boosting the company’s profitability.
The French major noted that ten of the late-development new drugs have the potential to “deliver peak year sales of more than a billion dollars”.
He claimed that AstraZeneca is now “on track to deliver industry-leading revenue growth through 2025 and beyond”.
AstraZeneca said it would see an increase in its core operating expenses to develop new drugs and bring new drugs to market, as its costs to secure long-term growth rose by 23 percent in 2022.
Revenue from AstraZeneca’s rare disease unit — which accounts for 16 percent of the firm’s total revenue — also rose 10 percent, as the British firm expanded sales of its drugs into new markets.