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Agreements met on AZ's Seroquel litigation

AZ has reached agreements in principle on monetary terms relating to around 17,500 Seroquel product liability claims in the US for around $198m

AstraZeneca (AZ) has announced that it has reached agreements in principle on monetary terms with attorneys representing around 17,500 Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate) product liability claimants in the US for around $198m. The agreements in principle are subject to agreement on non-monetary terms.

In March it was revealed that AZ could be facing as many as 26,000 lawsuits over its antipsychotic drug Seroquel as the drugmaker prepared for its first jury trial over claims the medicine causes diabetes.

Attorneys for AZ, the UK's second-largest drugmaker, then met with plaintiffs' lawyers in court-ordered mediation sessions to discuss a possible settlement of the Seroquel cases, according to court filings.

Many of the suits also claim AstraZeneca promoted Seroquel, approved for schizophrenic and bipolar patients, for unapproved uses.

AZ continues to participate in the mediation process covering claims in both federal and state jurisdictions.

As of June 30 2010, no provision had been made in respect of any settlements. Any provision would be disregarded in calculating core earnings and, as such, the company's core earnings per share guidance for 2010 remains unchanged at $6.35-$6.65.

The specific terms of the agreements, which are the result of court-ordered mediation, are confidential.

As of June 29, around 2,900 additional cases have been dismissed by order or agreement and around 1,825 of those cases have been dismissed with prejudice. To date, the only jury trial resulted in a defence verdict in favour of AZ.

9th August 2010

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