AstraZeneca earnings fall amid patent protection losses

Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca says its net income and sales fell in the third quarter as it worked to make up for the loss of patent protection for major products such as Crestor and Seroquel XR.

Net income fell 32 percent to $686 million. Product sales slipped to $4.88 billion from $5.03 billion a year earlier.

AstraZeneca has been dealing with the loss of exclusivity on previous moneymakers like the cholesterol treatment Crestor and schizophrenia treatment Seroquel XR. Crestor sales fell 16 percent in the quarter, while Seroquel plunged 67 percent.

Sales of cancer drugs were up 18 percent. AstraZeneca repeatedly described oncology as one of its strengths as it fended off a takeover bid from Pfizer, which makes Viagra.

CEO Pascal Soriot says the performance "was in line with expectations."