AstraZeneca says that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved an intravenous version of its blockbuster anti-ulcerant Nexium (esomeprazole).

The company noted that Nexium IV can be administered as an intravenous infusion (for 10-30 minutes) or injection (at least three minutes) for the short-term treatment, ie up to 10 days, of gastroesophageal reflux disease in patients with a history of erosive esophagitis who cannot take capsules.

This approval is a welcome boost for AstraZeneca as Nexium has been under fire for some time with various lawsuits having been filed in the US, which have claimed that the firm has deceptively promoted the drug [[23/11/04e]] [[19/10/04d]]. Furthermore, this new indication can only help push sales of Nexium up from the $3.8 billion it contributed to AstraZeneca’s coffers last year, with $2.7 billion of that coming from the USA.