AstraZeneca Faces a Significant Loss of Protection
AstraZeneca’s (NYSE:AZN) patent on the Seroquel XR antipsychotic, the drug maker’s second-biggest seller, has been ruled invalid by a U.K. court. The decision only relates to the extended-release version of the drug, and is limited to the U.K. market.
Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) unit Sandoz, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries (NASDAQ:TEVA), Accord Healthcare, Intas Pharmaceuticals, and Hexal AG challenged AstraZeneca’s patent for the drug that booked $5.8 billion of sales for the company last year. Seroquel XR is patent protected in the U.S. until 2017, while the older version loses U.S. patent protection this month.
AstraZeneca says a U.S. decision on the drug’s exclusivity is still pending. AstraZeneca is currently defending Seroquel XR patents and exclusivity rights in “numerous” other cases, including a trial decision still pending in the U.S., the largest market for the drug.
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