Our focus areas

Unlocking the power of what science can do

The path to new treatments

The future of treatment for many of today's diseases lies in uncovering mechanisms that are newly emerging or are still to be discovered. We believe the best way to help patients is to focus on breakthrough science to discover these mechanisms and develop novel, targeted therapies that interact with them. We focus on three main therpeutic areas; Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (CVMD); Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA); Oncology. 

Learn more about our focus areas.

Cardiovascular and Metabolic diseases

Coronary heart disease (CHD), is the most common form of cardiovascular disease (CVD)1. It is the single leading cause of death in Australia2. There were over 224,000 hospitalisations where CHD was recorded as the principal and/or additional diagnosis in 2013-20143. AstraZeneca has been driving cardiovascular innovation for more than 100 years. As we aim to break through conventional thinking by following what science is telling us, we will continue to build our cardiovascular portfolio to help a broader range of patients. 

Diabetes is considered the health epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia's health system4. Every day 280 patients develop diabetes in Australia - that's one person every 5 minutes4. There were 1,256,070 people with diabetes registered on the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS)5. Of these, 1,092,040 people with type 2 diabetes registered on the NDSS5.

AstraZeneca has a proven track record of working collaboratively and successfully with the Government to bring medicines for chronic conditions to the Australian patients in a timely manner and securing expanded access to these medicines via the PBS.

Learn more about our approach towards Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease (CVMD).


1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Australian hosptial statistics 2012-13, Health services series no. 54. Cat. no. HSE 145, Canberra: AIHW

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Causes of death 2014 (3303.0), March 2016.3-AIHW 2014, Australian hospital statistics 2012-13, Health services series no. 54. Cat. no. HSE 145, Canberra: AIHW

3. Australian Institutue of Health and Welfare 2014, Hospital care for cadiovascular diseas, Coronary heart disease (CHD)

4. Diabetes Australia, 2015, Diabetes in Australia, [Online], Available at: https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/diabetes-in-australia last accessed 19 September 2016

5. National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS), 2016. Data Snapshots March 2016, [Online], Available at: https://www.ndss.com.au/data-snapshots last accessed 24 October 2017

Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity

Asthma is one of the Top 9 National Health priorities in Australia1 with 11% of Australians suffering from this disease – that’s over 2.5 million people2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a serious, progressive and irreversible lung disease that can affect older people3. 66,540 hospitalisations per year have a primary diagnosis of COPD4.

AstraZeneca will continue to optimise clinical practice through our portfolio of inhaled medicines to improve choice and outcomes for patients across the disease spectrum. Our inhaled treatments for asthma and COPD are not only the backbone of the respiratory portfolio, but they are and will remain at the core of AstraZeneca’s business in Australia. Most importantly, they are the foundation of Asthma and COPD care around the world.

Learn more about our approach towards Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA).


1. Australian Institutue of Health and Welfare (AIHW), National health priority areas, The 9 NHPAs, http://www.aihw.gov.au/national-health-priority-areas/ accessed 19 July 2017

2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), Asthma, Prevalence, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/asthma/contents/asthma accessed 19 July 2017

3. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), COPD, About COPD, http://www.aihw.gov.au/copd/ accessed 19 July 2017

4. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), COPD, treatment by hospitals, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/burden-chronic-respiratory-conditions/contents/table-of-contents accessed 19 July 2017



AstraZeneca's vision is to respond to unmet medical need by redefining the cancer treatment paradigm. This is being achieved through scientific innovation, accelerated clinical programmes and collaboration. We have a strong heritage - more than 40 years - in developing cancer drugs. Our aim is to deliver at least four new cancer therapies and 12 new indications/combinations by 2020.

Our broad pipeline of next generation medicines is focused on five main disease areas: prostate, breast, ovarian, lung and haematological cancers, using four key scientific approaches: immunotherapy, tumour drivers and resistance mechanisms, and DNA damage. 

We are focused on identifying and developing combination therapies. Our immuno-oncology portfolio, enables us to explore and exploit scientific and biological synergies to pursue combinations that improve outcomes and maximise patient benefit.

Learn more about our approach towards Oncology.