Anglo-Swedish drugs firm AstraZeneca has been hit by the news that US regulators want to take another three months before deciding whether to approve its new heart drug Brilinta.
It is the company’s most important forthcoming product launch at and it is hoped revenues from it will offset expiring patents on some of its best-sellers.
Brilinta stops blood clots from forming.
If approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is expected to bring in sales of more than one billion euros a year by 2012.
Tests indicate its gets better results than its competitor, Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Plavix, which has current annual sales of 8.4 billion euros, and is the world’s second-biggest drug in terms of sales.