Will AstraZeneca go shopping?

The recent drug development disappointments for AstraZeneca prompted several Wall Street analysts to tell Bloomberg News that they expect the company to look at acquiring other companies in the future.

AstraZeneca is based in London, but has a U.S. headquarters in Wilmington and a factory in Newark, Del. AstraZeneca bought MedImmune, Inc., in 2007 for about $15.2 billion.

The schizophrenia drug Seroquel faces patent expiration and cholesterol drug Crestor faces competition. The setbacks were in experimental drugs for diabetes, ovarian cancer and depression, prompting Credit Suisse’s Luisa Hector to rate the stock as "underperform."

“They are gradually running out of options,” Hector said, according to Bloomberg.

“We continue to believe in our focus on innovation, both home grown and, increasingly, by accessing the best of external science through partnering, collaborations and in-licensing,” Abigail Baron, a spokeswoman, told Bloomberg by e-mail. “In terms of acquisitions, we’ve said all along that we are not looking for scale but would consider small, bolt-on acquisitions so long as there is a good strategic fit and an opportunity to add value to the pipeline.”

The story is here.