AstraZeneca's Seroquel XR patent upheld in U.S.

You win some and you lose some.

AstraZeneca ($AZN) announced early this morning that it has finally won a ruling in its attempt to protect its blockbuster bipolar-treating Seroquel franchise from the generics onslaught.

The U.K. company says a judge from the U.S. District Court for New Jersey upheld the formulation patent for Seroquel XR, which expires in 2017, reports The Associated Press. The court also ruled that the patent has been infringed by Anchen Pharmaceuticals, Osmotica Pharmaceutical, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Mylan Pharmaceuticals.

A court in the Netherlands also upheld the patent, but one in the U.K. did not.  

AstraZeneca has been fighting for Seroquel on many fronts. Just yesterday, a different judge nixed AstraZeneca's attempt at getting a temporary restraining order against the sale of generic versions of the regular formulation of Seroquel. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) and Mylan ($MYL) had already started shipping their versions. But AstraZeneca filed for a temporary restraining order, alleging that the FDA had acted improperly in approving 10 Seroquel generics.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in the District of Columbia ruled against AstraZeneca but criticized the FDA, saying it has not been transparent about its generic approvals and about its denial of AstraZeneca's two citizen petitions seeking to block those approvals.

- read the AP story