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AstraZeneca fends off Pfizer with new growth plan

LONDON (AP) -- AstraZeneca has outlined plans to grow annual sales to more than $45 billion by 2023 as an independent company, days after the drugmaker rejected a takeover bid by rival Pfizer.

In an update to shareholders, AstraZeneca said investors would share the benefits of a “strong and consistent revenue growth” projected for 2017-2023.

The U.K.-based company on Friday spurned Pfizer's third acquisition proposal, this time for about $106 billion. AstraZeneca PLC, the No. 8 drugmaker, called that inadequate and said the potentially lucrative “pipeline” of new drugs it is developing would be disrupted by a takeover.

AstraZeneca's revenues last year were $25.7 billion, down 6 percent on the previous year, but the company said Tuesday that under its new management and strategy it is now “repositioned for a return to growth.”

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