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AstraZeneca and Its Oncology Segment’s Growth in 2Q16

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Oncology segment

AstraZeneca’s (AZN) oncology segment is another key focus area. The segment’s contribution increased to more than 15% in 2Q16. Key products for oncology are Zoladex, Faslodex, and Iressa. To strengthen its oncology portfolio, AstraZeneca acquired Definiens in November 2014.

Let’s take a look now at some of these key products and their performances.

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Iressa

Iressa is used for the treatment of lung cancer. Its revenues increased by 5% at constant exchange rates in 2Q16 due to the growth in emerging markets. It was partially offset by lower sales in European markets.

Zoladex

Zoladex is used for the treatment of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer or endometriosis in women. The drug’s 2Q16 revenues declined by 4% at constant exchange rates following the decline of 7% in sales in emerging markets.

Zoladex competes with drugs such as Enantone from Takeda Pharmaceutical (TYO) and Decapeptyl from Ipsen (IPN).

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Faslodex

Faslodex is used for the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced or metastatic breast cancer and for patients who have been treated with endocrine therapy. Faslodex’s 2Q16 revenues increased by 23% at constant exchange rates following increased demand in the United States and outside the US markets. Nearly 50% of revenues for Faslodex are reported from outside the US markets.

Faslodex competes with drugs such as Femara from Novartis (NVS) and Xeloda from Genentech, a Roche (RHHBY) company.

New oncology products

AstraZeneca’s new oncology products included in growth platforms are Lynparza and Tagrisso. Lynparza is used for the treatment of ovarian cancer. It was launched in US markets in December 2014 and in 15 countries, including France and Germany, by the end of 2015. It was granted breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of prostate cancer in January 2016. Lynparza’s 2Q16 revenues were $54 million.

Tagrisso, a new drug for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, was approved in 4Q15. It was launched in US markets in November 2015 and reported revenues of $92 million in 2Q16.

To avoid the risks, you can consider ETFs such as the iShares Global Healthcare (IXJ), which holds ~2.0% of its total assets in AstraZeneca, 4.2% in Merck & Co. (MRK), and 2.4% in Allergan (AGN).

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