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Asthma drug may help smoker’s cough


London-based pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has applied to US regulators for approval to use its Symbicort asthma drug to treat a condition commonly known as smoker’s cough.

The move by the Anglo-Swedish company would strengthen its competition with rival drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline.

AstraZeneca submitted a new drug application to the US Food and Drug Administration to use the drug symbicort to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The company, which was formed in 1999 by the merger of Swedish Astra AB and British Zeneca Group, said its application is based on two drug trials.

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AstraZeneca launched Symbicort as an asthma inhaler last year in the US, where it competes with Glaxo’s top-selling Advair medicine.

Advair can already be sold to treat COPD.

Zeneca was part of Imperial Chemical Industries prior to a demerger in 1993. AstraZeneca develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals to treat disorders in the gastrointestinal, cardiac and vascular, neurological and psychiatric, infection, respiratory, pathological inflammation and oncology areas.

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