AstraZeneca Creates New Vaccines Unit for Its Covid-19 Assets
(Bloomberg) -- AstraZeneca Plc is creating a new unit to house its coronavirus assets, after the pandemic spurred the British pharmaceutical giant to move into the vaccines space.
The company’s Covid-19 shot and antibody therapy will be placed in the new division, which will be run by executive Iskra Reic, Astra said in a statement Tuesday. The unit will house teams from the research, manufacturing and commercial departments.
“In order to optimize the management of our existing portfolio of vaccines and antibodies for viral respiratory infections, we are creating a dedicated vaccines and immune therapies unit,” Astra said. “The team will be dedicated to our Covid-19 vaccine, our long-acting antibody combination and our developmental vaccine addressing multiple variants of concern.”
Astra shares fell as much as 1.1%, touching session lows, after the Financial Times reported the move. They traded down 0.3% as of 3:23 p.m. in London.
Investors and analysts have speculated about whether the company’s inoculation developed with the University of Oxford would lead to further expansion in the area. In an interview with Bloomberg last year, Astra Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said that if the shot was successful the company would consider a further move and had “a few ideas of what we could do.”
Astra has committed to providing its Covid-19 shot at cost for all countries, but only during the pandemic for richer nations, fueling expectations the company could eventually make profit from the product. The drugmaker is in the process of negotiating deals for its antibody treatment.
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