AstraZeneca plans to cut 400 jobs in efforts to "streamline portions of its US commercial business."

The job losses are planned for the company’s US base in Delaware, although 70 of the 400 cuts will come from existing vacancies. Employees will be allowed to apply for voluntary redundancy, with decisions to be finalised by early December.

The move comes as AstraZeneca faces increasing pressure from generics as the company approaches a 2016 patent cliff, with its Crestor and Seroquel medications facing generic pressure when protection expires.

AztraZeneca North America head Rich Fante said: "These changes are necessary to build a leaner, more efficient company."