Coronavirus Update

AstraZeneca Plc - First-quarter 2020 results

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AstraZeneca Plc

First-quarter 2020 results

Robust results in unprecedented times; leveraging scientific expertise in the fight against COVID-19

AstraZeneca delivered a quarter of strong revenue and profit growth, reflecting the immense efforts of supply-chain, commercial and other colleagues around the world to get vital medicines to patients. As part of the fight, the Company has rapidly responded to the pandemic, firstly in China and then globally.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"Our focus ensured another quarter of strong growth across every therapy area and region. The new medicines performed extremely well, and our pipeline continued to deliver. Standouts included landmark news for Tagrisso, Farxiga and Koselugo, our latest oncology medicine. The progress made on all fronts provides confidence that we will, once again, meet our full-year commitments.

I could not be prouder of how the AstraZeneca team has responded to the challenges of COVID-19. We moved quickly to maintain continuity of care, contribute to society, and use our scientific expertise to fight the pandemic. We hope our efforts to protect organs from damage, mitigate the cytokine storm and the associated hyperinflammatory state, and target the virus prove to be successful."


The Company donated nine million face masks to support healthcare workers around the world, delivered in collaboration with the World Economic Forum's COVID Action Platform. AstraZeneca also contributed to the UK Government's testing effort with a dedicated site in Cambridge operated in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK), with a goal to deliver 30,000 tests a day in May 2020.

The Company has mobilised research efforts to find new ways to help target the virus, reduce the cytokine storm, arising from an overactive immune response, and potentially protect organs. As part of the effort to target the virus, the Company is identifying novel SARS-CoV-2-neutralising monoclonal antibodies that can be used for treatment, as well as a prophylaxis against viral infection.

AstraZeneca is evaluating the use of Calquence, approved in a number of countries for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, in the Phase II CALAVI trial, which is assessing the suppression of the cytokine storm that inflames the lungs and other organs of some COVID-19 patients. The Company is also looking at protecting organs in the Phase III DARE-19 trial, assessing whether Farxiga, an oral medicine that has demonstrated benefits in heart failure and kidney disease, can potentially reduce organ failure. The Company has also joined the UK Government's ACCORD-2 proof-of-concept clinical-trial platform, to speed the development of medicines for patients with COVID-19.

Q1 2020 financial performance

Table 1: Financial summary


Q1 2020


% change



Total Revenue




Product Sales




Collaboration Revenue








Reported2 EPS3




Core4 EPS




Of the growth at CER in Total Revenue, AstraZeneca estimates a low-to-mid single-digit percentage benefit of short-term inventory increases in the distribution channel, longer prescriptions and improved treatment-regimen adherence by patients, as indirect effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This benefit is anticipated to reverse in the coming months.

The new medicines5 continued to perform especially well and there was excellent progress from the pipeline, with several regulatory approvals and particularly significant news regarding the potential use of Tagrisso in the adjuvant treatment of EGFRm6 lung cancer, as well as Farxiga in chronic kidney disease.

Total Revenue growth of 16% (17% at CER) to $6,354m; this included Product Sales of $6,311m (+15%, +17% at CER). Total Revenue increased in the quarter across all three therapy areas7 and in every region. Highlights included:

  • The performance of the new medicines, improving by 47% (49% at CER) to $2,986m, included new-medicine growth in Emerging Markets of 82% (87% at CER) to $658m. These medicines represented 47% of Total Revenue (Q1 2019: 37%)
  • Total Revenue growth across all therapy areas: Oncology +33% (+34% at CER) to $2,518m, New CVRM8 +7% (+8% at CER) to $1,102m and Respiratory & Immunology +21% (+22% at CER) to $1,555m
  • Total Revenue growth in every region: an increase in Emerging Markets of 13% (16% at CER) to $2,273m, with China Total Revenue growth of 14% (17% at CER) to $1,416m. Total Revenue in the US increased by 16% in the quarter to $2,091m and in Europe by 22% (25% at CER) to $1,204m; Japan Total Revenue increased by 10% (8% at CER) to $553m