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BUZZ-AstraZeneca: FDA move makes Symbicort generics more likely

** U.S. FDA issues bioequivalence draft guidance for AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN - news) 's inhaled lung drug Symbicort MDI (Link: http://1.usa.gov/1HtTKqP)

** Publication raises prospect of cheaper versions of drug reaching U.S. market, since guidance helps generic companies develop copies of medicines

** UBS (NYSEArca: FBGX - news) analyst Alexandra Hauber says U.S. Symbicort generics this decade now more likely, putting at risk current forecast for U.S. Symbicort sales of $1.8 billion in 2020

** Hauber estimates a worst case mid-2018 generic launch would reduce valuation by 3 pounds a share or 5 percent

** AstraZeneca has several new combination drug products in late stage development that could help defend its important respiratory franchise

(RM (LSE: RM.L - news) : ben.hirschler.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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