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AstraZeneca Unveils $600M Deal To Buy Actavis' Lung Drugs

AstraZeneca (AZN) confirmed Thursday that it would pay an initial $600 million to buy Actavis plc (ACT)' branded respiratory business in the U.S. and Canada.

The British pharmaceutical giant also reported a sharper-than-anticipated drop in fourth-quarter profits.

AstraZeneca's second respiratory acquisition

The UK drugmaker, is under pressure to ramp up new sources of growth to offset loss of patent protection on a series of older products. The pharmaceutical giant's sales were forecast to slip into decline this year as generic competition arrives for its blockbuster heartburn drug Nexium.

The drugmaker is also under pressure to justify its decision last year to reject a £69.4 billion takeover offer from Pfizer.

AstraZeneca's deal with Actavis involved the Tudorza Pressair and Duaklir Genuair medicines for breathing difficulties, strengthening its position in the U.S. and Canadian respiratory markets. The combined annual revenues of the two drugs crossed $230 million in 2014.

The UK drugmaker… Read More …