In a Reuters report, AstraZeneca Plc's AZN CEO says that the company may not stay in the vaccine business in the long run, suggesting a quick turnaround for the company that became the front runner for the COVID-19 shot but got lost in the competition.
Production delays, regulatory probes due to rare cases of severe side effects, and concerns about its relatively short shelf life prevented the adoption of Astra's COVID-19 vaccine.
The company is witnessing diminished demand for COVID-19 shots as most have been vaccinated, and mRNA boosters from Pfizer Inc PFE & BioNTech SE BNTX, and Moderna Inc MRNA, are preferred.
AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine has still not won U.S. approval, and it is building on its portfolio of antibody therapies, Soriota said in a Reuters interview.
But on the future of its COVID vaccines business, he said: "I can't be sure we will be there or not."
He also said he wasn't sure if AstraZeneca would broaden its roster of vaccines for other infections, adding that the company was looking into it.
Still, Soriot said he did not regret the company's work with Oxford University to develop a COVID vaccine, given they had delivered billions of doses and saved an estimated 6 million lives across the globe.
AstraZeneca is also looking for bolt-on acquisitions, including small and mid-sized companies specializing in oncology and cardiovascular treatments, Soriot added.
Price Action: AZN shares are up 1.66% at $67.53 on the last check Wednesday.
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