AstraZeneca Responds to FDA Joint Advisory Committees' Recommendation on Symbicort

LONDON, Dec. 11, 2008--/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- On December 11, 2008, 2008, the Joint Advisory Committees of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - including the Drug Safety & Risk Management Advisory Committee, the Pediatric Advisory Committee, and the Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee - completed a review of the benefits and risks of asthma medications containing long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs). The committees concluded that the benefits of AstraZeneca's SYMBICORT(R) (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate), a combination LABA/Inhaled Corticosteroid (ICS) medication, outweigh the risks in adult and adolescent asthma patients.

Howard Hutchinson, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of AstraZeneca, said, "The safety and efficacy of SYMBICORT have been demonstrated in numerous clinical trials and from extensive post-marketing use around the world. We are pleased that the joint advisory committees' recommendation confirms our view on the positive benefit-risk profile of SYMBICORT."

The FDA frequently convenes advisory committee meetings to obtain independent expert guidance and recommendations on clinical matters. While the FDA is not required to follow this guidance, the agency usually takes the advice into consideration when rendering its final decisions on pending applications and other public health matters.

SYMBICORT(R) (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) is approved in over 100 countries for the long-term maintenance treatment of asthma and is available in two different inhalers, SYMBICORT TURBUHALER and in the U.S. as SYMBICORT pMDI.

SYMBICORT is a combination therapy indicated in the U.S. for the long-term maintenance treatment of asthma in patients 12 years of age and older. SYMBICORT should not be used in patients whose asthma can be successfully managed by inhaled corticosteroids along with occasional use of inhaled short-acting beta2-agonists. Administered twice daily, SYMBICORT is a combination of two proven asthma medications-budesonide, an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS), and formoterol, a rapid and long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). SYMBICORT does not replace fast-acting inhalers and should not be used to treat acute symptoms of asthma.

SYMBICORT is not indicated for the relief of acute bronchospasm.

SYMBICORT should not be initiated in patients during rapidly deteriorating or potentially life-threatening episodes of asthma.

Particular care is needed for patients who are transferred from systemically active corticosteroids. Deaths due to adrenal insufficiency have occurred in asthmatic patients during and after transfer from systemic corticosteroids to less systemically available inhaled corticosteroids.

Patients who are receiving SYMBICORT twice daily should not use additional formoterol or other long-acting inhaled beta2-agonists for any reason.

Common adverse events reported in clinical trials, occurring in less than or equal to 5 percent of patients, regardless of relationship to treatment, included nasopharyngitis, headache, upper respiratory tract infection, pharyngolaryngeal pain, sinusitis, and stomach discomfort.

Please see full Prescribing Information and visit www.MySYMBICORT.com.

     Investor Enquiries UK:
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    Investor Enquiries US:
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AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $29.55 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $13.35 billion dollar healthcare business with 12,200 employees committed to improving people's lives. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index.

For more information visit www.astrazeneca-us.com.

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CONTACT: Media US, Michele Meeker of AstraZeneca, +1-610-662-3589; MediaUK, Neil McCrae +44 207 304 5045, or Chris Sampson +44 207 304 5130, bothof AstraZeneca; Investor Enquiries US, Ed Seage, +1-302-886-4065, cell+1-302-373-1361, or Jorgen Winroth, +1-212-579-0506, cell, +1-917-612-4043,both of AstraZeneca, or Peter Vozzo for MedImmune +1-301-398-4358, cell+1-301-252-7518; Investor Enquiries UK, Jonathan Hunt, +44 207 304 5087,cell +44 7775 704032, or Mina Blair, +44 207 304 5084, cell +44 7718581021, or Karl Hard, +44 207 304 5322, cell +44 7789 654364, all ofAstraZeneca

Web site: http://www.astrazeneca-us.com/

Ticker Symbol: (NYSE:AZN)

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Posted: December 2008


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