Soriot expected to remain as AstraZeneca CEO: report

According to several reports Friday citing Bloomberg, sources have indicated that AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot will remain as head of the drugmaker for the foreseeable future. The latest speculation runs counter to recent rumours by the financial news website Calcalist that said Soriot was in discussions to take on the CEO position at Teva.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca confirmed that Soriot would be hosting the company's second-quarter results presentation on July 27.

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AstraZeneca has refused to comment on the Calcalist report, which led to a more than 5-percent decline in the drugmaker's shares after the news broke on July 12. A company spokesperson also declined to comment on the latest "market rumour and speculation," news of which drove up AstraZeneca's shares as much as 4 percent, while Teva's stock fell by about the same amount.

Prior to the latest rumours, Leerink Partners analyst Seamus Fernandez suggested that if Soriot leaves AstraZeneca, the drugmaker would be left "rudderless in the wake of several other recent departures," and susceptible to a takeover. He also said a potential Soriot exit would have "terrible" optics given that data from the company's MYSTIC oncology programme are expected "any day now." The MYSTIC study is evaluating AstraZeneca's PD-L1 inhibitor Imfinzi (durvalumab), both as monotherapy and in combination with the CTLA-4 inhibitor tremelimumab, as a first-line therapy for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

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