AstraZeneca Patent Ruled Invalid

Biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN  ) announced today that the New Jersey District Court has invalidated its patent protecting Pulmicort Repulses. The court also ruled that generic defendants on a second related patent are not infringing on AstraZeneca. Pulmicort Repulses is used for treating asthma and has been the source of patent conflict between AstraZeneca and generic-drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE: TEVA  ) in the past.

"AstraZenca strongly disagrees with the court's decision," said AstraZeneca Executive Vice President of North America Paul Hudson in a statement today. "AstraZeneca has full confidence in the strength of its intellectual property rights protecting Pulmicort Repulses. AstraZeneca is considering next steps, including an appeal of the court's decision."

The statement notes that the court's ruling is limited to the U.S. and will not affect Pulmicort Repulses patents in other countries. As of now, AstraZeneca hasn't changed its fiscal 2013 revenue guidance. The release does state, however, that its annual $260 million in Pulmicort Repulses-related royalties it currently receives from Teva would be affected if additional generics enter the market.

Looking beyond 2013, Pulmicort Repulses patents are set to expire in 2018, with pediatric exclusivity through 2019.


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