Company News: AstraZeneca, Bayer, Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb

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AstraZeneca has released Q2 financial information, reporting overall sales revenue increasing by 3% despite a decline of nearly $500 million due to generic competition. The company reports “strong double-digit growth” for products Symbicort (asthma medication), Crestor (for the treatment of high cholesterol), and Seroquel XR (for depressive disorders), which largely accounted for increased profits this quarter. AstraZeneca's Brilinta, an anti-platelet for heart attack prevention, was recently approved by the FDA for use in the US, in addition to the 40 other countries worldwide that have gained approval for the drug.

Bayer has reported sales in the second quarter as growing 0.8%, with a currency- and portfolio-adjusted growth of 5.4%. The company also reported that business in the emerging markets made an “above-average contribution” to these figures.

Sanofi reports Q2 sales as increasing by 6.9% due to the acquisition of biotech Genzyme, noting that with the exclusion of this acquisition, sales were down 4% due to generic competition. Diabetes sales, specifically, were up 12.4% due to products Lantus, Apidra and Lantus SoloSTAR.

Bristol-Myers Squibb has reported a 14% net sales increase for Q2, which the company maintains is in part due to the strong initial performance in the US of melanoma product Yervoy, kidney transplant medication Nulojix, and for VTE prevention product Eliquis in the EU. The company also reports a decrease in this quarter's ad and promotional spend by 4%, and an increase in R&D spend by 12%.

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