A world-leading pharmaceutical group, AstraZeneca was created in 1999 via the merger of Sweden's Astra and the UK's Zeneca, which had been demerged from chemicals group ICI in 1993. About half of its total sales are generated from the US, with over a third of revenues coming from its gastrointestinal treatments such as Prilosec (Losec) and Nexium.

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Company flags fly next to the Chinese one outside the headquarters of Britain's AstraZenica China headquarters in the Zhangjiang district of Shanghai on July 24, 2013. Beijing's targeting of British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a high-profile bribery probe is a reminder of the risks foreign companies face when seeking the huge rewards of China's market, analysts say. Police say GSK staff offered government officials and doctors bribes, and took kick-backs from travel agencies to organise conferences, some of which were fake. Chinese authorities have also questioned three Shanghai-based employees of Britain's AstraZeneca, detaining two, and have visited the offices of Belgium's UCB, according to the companies, although they did not specify what was being investigated. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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