AstraZeneca’s (AZN) respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity (or RI&A) segment is one of the company’s key focus areas of development. This segment contributed nearly 19.2% of total revenues for 2014, which rose to 21% in 2Q15.
To strengthen its portfolio, AstraZeneca acquired Almirall’s respiratory business and inhalation device subsidiary in November 2014. In 2015, it acquired Actavis’s branded respiratory portfolio for the United States and Canada. Key products for the RI&A segment are Symbicort and Pulmicort. Newly added products include Tudorza, Eklira, and Duaklir.
Symbicort, a respiratory drug, is used to prevent bronchospasms in patients suffering from severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Symbicort contributes more than 65% of revenues for this segment. For 2Q15, revenue stood unchanged on a constant currency basis against 2Q14.
Pulmicort is a respiratory drug used to prevent asthma attacks. For 2Q15, Pulmicort revenue improved 19% at constant exchange rates compared to 2Q14. Both Symbicort and Pulmicort had notable growth in emerging markets, including China.
Other drugs, including Eklira and Duaklir, were obtained under the AstraZeneca-Almirall deal. Tudorza was acquired from Actavis, which is now Allergan (ACT).
Investors can consider ETFs such as the Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) or the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH) to avoid risks. PPH holds 4.54% of its total investments in AstraZeneca.