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How Did AstraZeneca’s Respiratory Drug Symbicort Perform in 2017?

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Symbicort’s revenue trends

In 3Q17, AstraZeneca’s (AZN) Symbicort generated revenues of $669.0 million, which reflected an ~4.0% decline on a year-over-year basis and a 5.0% decline on a quarter-over-quarter basis. Symbicort reported 9M17 revenues of ~$2.1 billion, which reflected an ~9.0% decline on a YoY basis.

Symbicort is used for the treatment of individuals above six years who have asthma. Symbicort is also used as a maintenance therapy of airflow obstruction and reduction of exacerbations in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (or COPD).

Geographical performance

In 2017, Symbicort maintained its leadership status in the worldwide market by volume within the inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonist class of drugs. In 9M17, Symbicort’s revenues from emerging markets witnessed 7.0% growth to reach $322.0 million. Latin America and China generated revenues of $33.0 million and $136.0 million, respectively.

In 9M17, the US market generated revenues of $811.0 million for Symbicort, which reflected an ~15.0% decline on a YoY basis. The managed-care access program in the pricing of drugs within the class was primarily attributed to the decline of revenues in the US market.

In the European market, Symbicort reported 9M17 revenues of $590.0 million, which reflected a 13.0% decline on a YoY basis. Intense market competition and competition from Symbicort-analog drugs primarily attributed to the decline of these revenues.

Symbicort’s primary competition originates from GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Advair, Merck’s (MRK) Dulera, and Mylan’s (MYL) Perforomist. The Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF (VEA) invests ~0.19% of its total portfolio in AstraZeneca.

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