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Astra ends production of asthma inhaler

LONDON (AP) — AstraZeneca PLC is ending production of one version of its asthma drug Pulmicort immediately because of technical problems in manufacturing.

Astra’s announcement on Monday sent shares in its technology partner for the drug, SkyePharma, down 16.7 percent to 35 pence (57 U.S. cents). Astra shares are barely changed at 2,989.5 pence.

SkyePharma developed the formulation for the medicine — a pressured metered dose inhaler — and its royalties from the product make up around 5 percent of its revenue.

Astra says the manufacturing problem isn’t related to the key active ingredient in Pulmicort — or to any other of its products.

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