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AstraZeneca profits drop after patent losses

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10:01 CET+01:00
Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca said net profit suffered in the third quarter after it lost patent exclusivity on some of its bestsellers against schizophrenia and cholesterol.

Profit after tax dropped 17.5 percent to $1.246 billion in the three months to the end of September compared with the outcome in the third quarter of 2012, AstraZeneca said in a results statement. Group revenue fell 6.0 percent to $6.25 billion.

"As expected, our financial performance this year reflects the ongoing impact from the loss of exclusivity for several key brands," CEO Pascal Soriot said in a statement.

AstraZeneca recently lost market exclusivity for schizophrenia treatment Seroquel IR and heart-failure medication Atacand in many markets, and for anti-cholesterol drug Crestor in Canada.  In the third quarter, AstraZeneca agreed to buy US-based cancer drugs company Amplimmune as it seeks to bolster its flagging pipeline of new products.

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The company is meanwhile cutting 5,050 jobs, or about 9 percent of its current global workforce, over the next three years as it faces increased competition amid patent expiries.

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