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AstraZeneca hits sales of nearly £200m from Covid-19 jabs

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Simon Neville, PA City Editor
·2-min read
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AstraZeneca has revealed it banked revenues of 275 million US dollars (£197 million) in the first three months of the year from sales of its Covid-19 vaccine, delivering 68 million doses worldwide.

The pharmaceutical, which is not making a profit from the vaccine, added that, of those sales, 224 million dollars (£160.6 million) worth were in Europe, 43 million dollars (£30.8 million) in emerging markets and 8 million dollars (£5.7 million) in the rest of the world.

Bosses said sales of some of the company’s other drugs had been affected by the global pandemic, as other medical conditions went untreated, but overall sales remained strong.

Coronavirus – Fri Apr 9, 2021
AstraZeneca has delivered 68 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine worldwide (Yui Mok/PA)

Revenues in the first three months of the year hit 7.32 billion dollars (£5.26 billion) – up 15% on the same period a year earlier – with strong growth in its oncology division.

Its cancer treatments saw an increase of 20% in sales to 3 billion dollars (2.2 billion), primarily due to its lung cancer drug Tagrisso, which rose 17% in the quarter to 1.15 billion dollars (£830 million).

The company pointed out that this came “despite the decrease in lung cancer diagnoses observed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

AstraZeneca’s Farxiga diabetes drug enjoyed a 54% boost in sales, in part due to receiving regulatory approval in the US to use the treatment for heart failure.

Its Brilinta drug to reduce the risk of future heart attacks dropped 8% as global demand fell due to the pandemic reducing the number of heart attack admissions to hospitals, alongside lower demand for the drug in China, the company said.

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Covid-19 also hit sales of respiratory drugs as diagnosis of those conditions was also down during the pandemic.

But its asthma medicine, Fasenra, did see a boost in sales, making it the leading product for severe asthmas globally, the company said.

Chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “We delivered solid progress in the first quarter of 2021 and continued to advance our portfolio of life-changing medicines.

“New medicines contributed over half of revenue and all regions delivered encouraging growth.”

He added: “We expect the impact of Covid to reduce and anticipate a performance acceleration in the second half of 2021.”