(Bloomberg) -- AstraZeneca Plc aims to almost double sales to $80 billion by 2030 as Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot cements his legacy at the British drugmaker that he helped save with a bet on cancer treatments. 

The company, which generated $45.8 billion in revenue last year, will launch 20 new medicines by the end of the decade to meet the new total revenue target, Astra said Tuesday. That’s an increase from previous estimates of only 15 given by the company. Many of the new drugs, which mostly come from its oncology division, will generate more than $5 billion annually, Soriot said in a statement.

Astra set the target ahead of an investor day — its first in 10 years — as Soriot once again pushes the company to lead in the highly competitive cancer-medicine market while forging ahead in new treatment areas, including the red hot weight-loss market. 

The last investor day took place in 2014, in the wake of Pfizer Inc.’s attempted takeover of the British company. At the time, Soriot was only two years into the job and had a lot to prove after aggressively fighting the takeover, warning that a tie up with transatlantic predator Pfizer would “cost lives.” He assuaged investor concerns in the period by pledging to raise annual revenue to more than $45 billion by 2023 — a target Astra met after Soriot overhauled its R&D and focused on its oncology unit, which includes blockbuster cancer drugs such as Tagrisso and Imfinzi.

Soriot’s efforts have been widely credited with reviving Astra’s fortunes, with the share price increasing by more than 300% since he took charge in 2012, giving it a stock market valuation of £190 billion ($242 billion).

Astra went through a period that was “a little bit scary, I have to say,” Soriot said at the investor event. “But we managed to turn the company around and we did this by focusing on great science, great products, rebuilding our pipeline,” he added.

The shares rose more than 1.5% in London trading on Tuesday morning, close to their record high.

The new revenue goal is as expected, according to Jefferies analyst Peter Welford. The key to hitting it will be the pipeline assets that until now haven’t been viewed as major revenue-generators, he said in a note to clients.

Revenue Goals 

Astra expects to see double-digit growth in the oncology division, chief financial officer Aradhana Sarin said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Tuesday. The unit currently contributes 40% of total sales, she said. 

Astra has expanded to antibody-drug conjugates including Enhertu, a new class of drugs that deliver high medicine doses directly to tumors while minimizing damage to surrounding tissues. The company is also pushing into radiopharmaceuticals, which promise even more precision. Earlier this year it agreed to buy Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. for as much as $2.4 billion.

Setting out his vision on Tuesday for what will fuel growth after 2030, Soriot highlighted the importance of antibody drug conjugates and also obesity medicines which have driven astronomical growth at rival companies Novo Nordisk A/S and Eli Lilly & Co. 

Astra is targeting patients who need to lose 10% of their weight and have other conditions including heart and kidney disease, he said. Merely losing weight might not solve these patients’ wider health problems, the CEO added.

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Part of Soriot’s efforts in recent years has been to secure a global manufacturing footprint, including for its cancer drugs. Astra said on Monday it plans to build a $1.5 billion manufacturing facility in Singapore to make antibody-drug conjugates. The company is also pumping £450 million into research and the development of vaccines at a facility near Liverpool in the UK. 

(Updates with share price and comments from investor day and CFO TV interview.)

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