AstraZeneca awaiting Seroquel XR approval

AstraZeneca hopes the approval of a once daily version of its blockbuster schizophrenia drug Seroquel can break its streak of bad product news. The FDA is scheduled to make a decision on Seroquel XR on May 17. Many analysts believe the agency’s ruling on the drug could be a positive one. Seroquel XR’s approval could offer the company a chance to show it can still deliver, following recent failures of new drugs to treat stroke and heart disease, which came on the heels of earlier setbacks. “We believe these things can have a significant impact on our business, CEO David Brennan told Reuters in an interview in late April. “Our life cycle management programs have been excellent…we’ve done well in showing we can add incremental value to existing products.” Seroquel had sales of $3.4 billion last year and was AstraZeneca’s second biggest seller. The original immediate formulation of the drug, however, faces patent threats, with a case potentially coming to court next year in the US.