The CVMD franchise
The cardiovascular and metabolic disease (or CVMD) segment is AstraZeneca’s (AZN) largest franchise by revenue. In 2014, the CVMD franchise generated nearly $9.8 billion, a 11% rise in sales as compared to $8.8 billion in 2013. The annual CVMD worldwide market is estimated at $178.6 billion.
AstraZeneca’s CVMD segment is focused on developing life-changing medicines for the following conditions:
- thrombosis, or blood clotting
- atherosclerosis, or hardening of arteries
- dyslipidaemia, or abnormal levels of blood lipids
- hypertension, or high blood pressure
- metabolic diseases, including diabetes and related complications
The need for the CVMD franchise
As per the World Health Organization’s fact sheet updated in January 2015, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of deaths globally. Estimates suggest nearly 17.5 million people died of cardiovascular diseases in 2012, while 1.5 million people died of diabetes. The world market for high blood pressure medicines is estimated at $46.0 billion, $29.6 billion for medicines treating abnormal levels of blood cholesterol, and $51.8 billion for diabetes medicines. Therefore, the company is investing heavily in clinical development and lifecycle management of drugs for cardiovascular and renal diseases.
Collaborations in the CVMD franchise
AstraZeneca is engaging in collaborations focused on scientific innovation in the CVMD franchise. Some of the collaborations during 2014 include:
- collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology to create a satellite unit to study areas of new modality chemistry in CVMD and renal diseases
- collaboration with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation in areas of diabetic nephropathy to validate and progress novel research targets and molecules into clinical development
- collaboration with the Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences to study newly formed coronary vessels in CV diseases
Major competitors for the CVMD franchise include Sanofi (SNY), Merck and Co. (MRK), Novartis (NVS), and Pfizer (PFE). Pfizer (PFE) forms about 7.80% of the total assets of the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV).