Mr Read said the company may favour bolt-on acquisitions and research alliances instead of the billion dollar deals it has completed in the past for Wyeth, Pharmacia and Warner-Lambert.
Speaking at the JP Morgan Global Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, he said he was “disinclined” to look at the “possibility of another mega-acquisition”.
Instead, the Chief Executive pointed towards acquisitions or licensing deals “that make sense financially”. Mr Read did not completely rule out major deals in the future but said the company has “all the science we need and we have the geographic breadth”.
He highlighted five products that will drive the growth of the company in the short term: Prevnar 13, a pneumococcal vaccine, lung cancer drug Xalkori (crizotinib), kidney cancer drug axitinib, tofacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis and, in partnership with BMS, Pfizer’s anti-clotting drug Eliquis (apixaban).
The CEO also revealed that the company had terminated more than 90 pre-proof-of-concept programmes in a move to establish a smaller and more flexible cost base. Its chief scientific offers are also “operating with increased cost transparency and accountability for a greater proportion of the total spend,” he said.