AstraZeneca has agreed to buy ZS Pharma of the US for $2.7bn in a move to strengthen its product portfolio.
ZS Pharma is developing a treatment for a condition called hyperkalemia, which involves high potassium levels and can lead to kidney disease and heart failure. The medicine, called ZS-9, has been filed with the US Food and Drug Administration for approval, with a decision expected next May.
AstraZeneca will loss of US market exclusivity next year on its best-selling Crestor cholesterol statin. After patent expiration Crestor sales may hit by 1/10th.This will be for entry of generics into the market. This follows another big US patent expiry this year on its Nexium heartburn drug.