AstraZeneca has posted a reasonable set of financials for the third quarter this morning, despite generic competition and pricing pressures.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker says core operating profit fell 2% (at constant exchange rates) to $3.18 billion, while revenues were also down 2% to $8.21 billion, hit by a loss of more than $350 million from generic competition to key drugs.

Turnover growth was driven again by Crestor (rosuvastatin), and sales of the cholesterol drug increased 14% to $1.66 billion. Sales were up 20% in the USA and total prescriptions increased 3% compared to 0.5% for the overall statin market across the pond.

 Seroquel XR up 24%

Other big earners were the asthma combo Symbicort (budesonide and formoterol), which rose 9% to $755 million, while the antipsychotic Seroquel (quetiapine) was up 4% to $1.40 billion; that franchise was boosted by the performance of Seroquel XR (up 24% to $366 million).

Sales for Toprol XL/Seloken (metoprolol) were down 4% to $232 million, while another blood pressure drug Atacand (candesartan cilexetil) fell 8% to $364 million. Revenues for the antiulcerant blockbuster Nexium (esomeprazole) were down 16% to $1.09 billion and Losec/Prilosec (omeprazole) brought in $224 million, down 13%.

As for oncology sales, Arimidex (anastrozole) fell 44% to $176 million, battered by patent expiries, while Casodex (bicalutamide) fell 9% to $137 million. Zoladex (goserelin) brought in $304 million (+8%), while Iressa (gefitinib) climbed 29% to $145 million. Faslodex (fulvestrant) leapt 57% to $139 million.

The Onglyza (saxagliptin) diabetes franchise partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb, brought in $59 million (+211%), while the recently-launched antiplatelet drug Brilique/Brilinta ((ticagrelor) had sales of $13 million.

Chief executive David Brennan said results were "in line with our expectations, against the backdrop of anticipated generic competition and government price interventions". He noted that AstraZeneca has raised its core earnings per share target for the full year from $7.05-$7.35 from $7.20-$7.40, largely on currency movements.

PDUFA date put back for dapagliflozin

Prior to the results coming out, AstraZeneca and partner B-MS  noted that US regulators have delayed a decision for three months on whether to approve the companies’ experimental diabetes pill dapagliflozin.

The US Food and Drug Administration has pushed the new Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) goal date to 28 January next year, as the companies are submitting data "from recently-completed and ongoing Phase III clinical trials". This "constitutes a major amendment to the original New Drug Application" for dapagliflozin, the firms said.