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UK Court Rules AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR Patent Invalid

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3/22/2012 1:31 PM ET

Drug maker AstraZeneca plc (AZN: Quote,AZN.L), on Thursday said the UK High Court ruled that the patent for its extended release version of Seroquel XR is invalid.

The High Court decision is limited to the UK and is not binding in other countries, the British drug maker said in a statement. Seroquel XR, an anti-psychotic drug, is AstraZeneca's second largest selling drug.

According to AstraZeneca, the UK court is the first to rule that the Seroquel XR patent is invalid. Earlier this month, the district court in the Hague, Netherlands found the patent protecting Seroquel XR to be valid.

The ruling was in response to the patent challenge from generic drug makers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA: Quote), Sandoz Ltd., the subsidiary of Novartis AG (NVS: Quote), Accord Healthcare Ltd, Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Hexal AG.

"AstraZeneca is disappointed with the court's decision. However, the company remains committed to defending its intellectual property protecting Seroquel XR," the company said.

AstraZeneca said it is engaged in many other legal proceedings related to Seroquel XR's patents and regulatory exclusivity, which includes pending trial decisions in US and Spain. The company also last week filed a lawsuit in a US court for overturning the FDA's denial of a bid to delay the entry of generic versions of Seroquel. Seroquel's patent exclusivity expires this month.

AZN is currently trading on the NYSE at $45.21, down 0.48%, on a volume of 1.6 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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