James Moore: Astra’s new drugs could rekindle Pfizer’s interest


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The Independent Online

Outlook The single life seems to be suiting AstraZeneca. Touting an “industry-leading” line-up of hot new cancer drugs, the company has secured the endorsement of super-fund manager Neil Woodford, who gushed that his belief in the company’s independent future was “even stronger”.

The company’s research base is producing just the sort of results that people feared would be threatened by Pfizer’s predatory intentions. Worryingly, however, they may rekindle its interest. The Obama administration might have squeezed some of the taxation advantages a takeover would have provided, but Astra’s pipeline could make up for that.

Pfizer’s previous approach sparked an intense national debate. Astra’s success with cancer, however, should make that global if Pfizer comes back.