AstraZeneca trims EPS forecast on generic Toprol

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astrazeneca LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc said on Wednesday it expected 2006 earnings per share to be at the lower end of its $3.85 to $3.95 forecast range following the launch of a copycat version of its heart drug Toprol XL on Tuesday.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker also said it had signed an agreement for Par Pharmaceuticals to distribute an authorised generic version of Toprol XL in the United States.

This follows the launch of an unauthorised copycat formulation by Novartis AG's Sandoz on Tuesday.

(c) Reuters 2006