AstraZeneca rivals could launch any day

You can bet the execs at AstraZeneca are biting their nails this week. Next Monday, April 14, marks the end of a 30-month stay on Ranbaxy Laboratories' copycat form of the mega-blockbuster Nexium. And a similar stay against Teva's Seroquel generic ran out March 26. Neither company will say whether they plan to launch the cheaper rivals that are waiting, FDA-approved and ready to go, in the wings.

Lawsuits over the meds' patents still are pending. AstraZeneca says Seroquel is protected till 2011 and Nexium till 2014. But Teva and Ranbaxy could launch at risk if they think their patent challenges will eventually prevail.

- read the article from the Wall Street Journal

ALSO: As part of its global restructuring--prompted in part by generic competition and in part by pipeline troubles--AstraZeneca will cut 132 jobs from its Spanish operations, despite strong growth in the country last year. Report

PLUS: When it comes to drug development, is bigger really better? That is the question Borje Eckholm, president and CEO of Investor AB--and one of AstraZeneca's biggest shareholders--poses in the London Times. Report

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Nexium formulation wins FDA approval. Report