AstraZeneca welcomed Pfizer's decision to abandon an attempt to buy the British drugmaker, which AstraZeneca said would allow it to focus on its growth as a standalone business.

"We note Pfizer's confirmation that it no longer intends to make an offer for AstraZeneca. We welcome the opportunity to continue building on the momentum we have already demonstrated as an independent company," AstraZeneca Chairman Leif Johansson said in a statement on Monday.

"We have attractive growth prospects and a rapidly progressing pipeline. In the coming months we anticipate positive news flow across our core therapeutic areas, which underpins our confidence in the long-term prospects of the business."

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Goodman)