US court ruling a blow for AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca swallowed some more bad news when a US court ruled that a patent protecting its Pulmicort Respules asthma medicine was invalid, clearing the way for generic competition.

Pulmicort Respules brought in US sales of $136m (£90m) last year, and a spokesman said: "AstraZeneca strongly disagrees with the court's decision [and] is considering next steps, including an appeal."