Astra Tech, with production facilities in Sweden and North America, is represented globally by 16 subsidiaries and selected local distribution partners. It has 2,200 employees worldwide and the revenue in 2009 was $506m.

AstraZeneca, which is set to face ‘patent cliff’ for two of its largest selling drugs Nexium and Seroquel within the next five years and consequently witness decline in sales, hopes to generate between $4bn and $6bn during that period to meet its sales target range of $28bn to $34bn.

AstraZeneca is working with JP Morgan Chase & Co on an exclusive basis to support the strategic review process.

According to analysts at Sanford C Bernstein in London, the US based Biomet, Dentsply International, Zimmer, 3M and Danaher are in the race to acquire Astra Tech.

Reportedly, Astra Tech may also attract medical technology firms such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, which are mulling to foray into the dental implant market.