Industry Spotlight  |
Proteins & Antibodies

AstraZeneca Suffers Sales Decline for COVID Med Evusheld

Edited by Tia Byer |
05 August 2022
A 24 million loss has been reported for the preventative COVID-19 treatment.

The one-of-its-kind vaccine therapy is no longer performing as well as AstraZeneca would have hoped. Evusheld is an injectable antibody combination therapy of complementary antibodies that protects immunocompromised patients from COVID-19. The blockbuster drug has demonstrated effectiveness against all versions of the omicron variant and provides a tailor-made prophylactic treatment effect.

AstraZeneca first received FDA authorisation for emergency use in December 2021 and in its first six months made 556 million USD in sales. The U.S. purchased up to 1.7 million doses of Evusheld at a cost of 855 million USD, in anticipation of the pioneering treatment’s demand.

Whilst first-quarter sales generated an impressive 469 million USD, revenue in the second quarter dramatic declined, coming in at only 445 million. The 24 million losses prompted AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot to declare the requirement for a new marketing strategy. “We need to get full approval in the U.S. to be able to fully promote it. It’s fundamental to be able to establish the product,” he announced.

“It is really important to make sure that we do our best to educate and increase the awareness of both patients and doctors,” AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President of Vaccines and Immune Therapies, Iskra Reic, added. “Our investment is increasing and we want to resource that in that in the proper way to make sure we drive demand.”   

The blockbuster drug has demonstrated effectiveness against all versions of the omicron variant and provides a tailor-made prophylactic treatment effect.

The U.K. company raised its annual revenue projection to more than a 20 % increase over 2021 and boasts a portfolio of 12 blockbuster products which have been produced in the last year alone. In particular, double-digit growth was seen in the second quarter for Tagriso (1.4 billion), Farxiga (1.1 billion), and Soliris (1 billion).

Only time will tell if Evusheld will continue to prove an effective treatment against future COVID variants. For now, AstraZeneca is working with the FDA to achieve full approval of the injectable.

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