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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) Suffers Fresh Drug Patent Setback in U.S.


4/2/2013 7:23:28 AM

AstraZeneca has suffered a fresh patent setback with a U.S. court decision that a patent protecting its Pulmicort Repsules asthma treatment is invalid, clearing the way for a generic copy from Actavis. The ruling comes as AstraZeneca is already facing a big fall in sales due to patent expiries on other medicines, prompting a $2.3 billion restructuring plan and further job losses announced by new CEO Pascal Soriot last month. AstraZeneca said on Tuesday it strongly disagreed with the court's decision and was considering next steps, including lodging an appeal. The District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of Actavis, which has developed a generic version that it now intends to launch immediately.

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