Deals, Insiders

Top 20 cancer drug deals: AstraZeneca just changed the global landscape for dealmaking in oncology

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot has been one of the most cautious Big Pharma CEOs in the business — until Thursday. He had to be. After being handed command of a leaky ship sailing shark infested waters, Soriot’s AstraZeneca became known for (a) dogged persistence in pursuing its big new cancer drug franchises (b) a bad penchant for key trial failures and (c) carefully aligned asset sales to keep the numbers in tune for Wall Street.

In many ways, the company’s embarrassing odyssey trying to complete a new world headquarters in Cambridge UK summarized things completely: Off budget, way behind schedule and extremely ambitious. It would be beautiful, if there weren’t so many problems.

Then, in one swoop, Soriot changed tack completely. In place of caution and endurance, Soriot went big, handing his new cancer drug R&D chief José Baselga a major role for a Phase III cancer drug with significant near-term regulatory catalysts. And while you may not have heard a lot about this drug, AstraZeneca clearly believes it has one of the next big things in the oncology drug field.

We asked Chris Dokomajilar at DealForma to run the numbers for us, and he came up with the top 10 deals that AstraZeneca has done and how this new pact with Daiichi Sankyo lines up among the top 20 cancer drug deals of the past decade.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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