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AstraZeneca reveals profit boost


Drug manufacturer AstraZeneca has doubled its share buyback programme after it revealed net profits of $2.1bn (£1.3bn) for the second quarter of the year to June 30, up from $1.72bn seen for the same period in 2009.

Revenue at the Anglo-Swedish company rose 2.8% to $8.18 billion, up from the $7.96 billion seen during the same three-month period last year.

Strong sales of its drugs in emerging markets played a significant factor in the rise in profits, outweighing declining revenue in the US, where the company faces tough competition for its products.

There was more good news for the company, as so far this year there has been a lack of competition for its ulcer drug Nexium in Europe, while it also won a court battle last month upholding its US patent on cholesterol drug Crestor.

The company also announced the US Food and Drug Administration endorsed its blood thinning drug Brilinta.

Brilinta is also currently under regulatory review in nine territories around the world, including the European Union, Canada, and Brazil.

If approved Brilinta will be competing against other anti-platelet agents including Lilly’s Effient and Sanofi’s Plavix (clopidogrel), as well as upcoming generic versions of clopidogrel.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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