AstraZeneca gets shot in the arm as diabetes pill given green light

 
Julian Harris
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PHARMA giant AstraZeneca got a boost yesterday as a new diabetes treatment was approved by European regulators.

The Anglo-Swedish company announced at the end of last year that it is spending $4.1bn (£2.5bn) on buying out Bristol-Myers Squibb from the firms’ joint diabetes venture, describing it as “ a core strategic area” for growth.

And yesterday Xigduo, developed by the joint venture, was granted marketing authorisation by the European Union.

A treatment for type 2 diabetes, the new product is a fixed dose combination – a single tablet to be taken twice daily that contains more than one active ingredient.

“Xigduo is an important addition to the range of medicines to help patients manage glycaemic control,” said AstraZeneca’s said Elisabeth Bjork. “We recognise that not all patients are alike and that different treatments are needed.”

Investors largely shrugged off the news, sending AstraZeneca’s shares down 0.33 per cent – a slightly sharper fall than the wider 0.12 per cent dip suffered by the FTSE 100.

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