CEO of AstraZeneca offers assurances that MedImmune identity will remain intact

LONDON AstraZeneca’s chief executive officer dispelled rumors that its newly acquired biotechnology company will be partitioned.

On Friday, the London-based pharmaceutical giant’s chief executive officer, David Brennan, assured investors that MedImmune will continue as a stand-alone wing of the company.

Earlier this year, AstraZeneca purchased MedImmune—the largest biotech in Maryland—for $15.6 billion.

MedImmune, Brennan said, was the first choice as an acquisition to lead AstraZeneca’s new strategy of developing more biotech products called biologics. The goal is to make biologics 25 percent of the company’s product pipeline by 2010, he said.

Biologics have a higher probability of success than conventional drugs and carry less pressure on pricing than conventional drugs, Brennan said at the 2007 Mid-Atlantic Bio investment conference There are tougher regulations of biologics in Europe than in the U.S., he said.

Part of the strategy will be to integrate another of AstraZeneca’s companies, antibody maker Cambridge Antibody Technology Group of the United Kingdom, into MedImmune. AstraZeneca acquired Cambridge last year for $1.3 billion.

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