Company executives introduced a plan on Friday to save $1.1bn annually as the company's top drug, Crestor, loses patent protection, making vulnerable about $5bn in annual sales. In response, AstraZeneca has charted a restructuring that will cost it about $1.5bn once – mostly cash – and includes a move to "reshape our manufacturing base," CFO Marc Dunoyer told investors.
The news comes following AstraZeneca’s announcements toward the end of 2014 that it would shutter two plants, one each in the U.S. and U.K. In December 2014, it said by the end of 2015 it would close a plant in Westborough, Mass., and by 2016 or 2017, it would shutter an API site in Bristol, U.K., following patent losses. The Bristol plant makes the API for Crestor and a couple of other drugs, while the U.S. plant manufactured AstraZeneca's respiratory drug Pulmicort Respules, which is slated to go off patent in 2018.
However, the company has also showed an eagerness to bulk up in biologics manufacturing, with Dunoyer saying on Friday that the new cost drive will take “into account the need to create capacity in our biologics supply chain.”
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