AstraZeneca wins Seroquel patent fight

AstraZeneca is celebrating today--or at least relaxing a bit. It has avoided a full-blown trial today to protect its top-selling antipsychotic medication, Seroquel. The trial would have taken place on August 11, 2008, setting off a battle over the medication used to treat bipolar disorder.

Hoping to market a generic version of the medication, which has a current patent expiration date in September of 2011, Teva Pharmaceutical brought a case against AstraZeneca based on a no inequitable conduct challenge, but a federal court in New Jersey dropped the case. AstraZeneca investors are responding, and its stock prices are already seeing a jump this morning. 

A patent extension for specifically for pediatric use will extend AstraZeneca's protection to March 2012. Seroquel brought in about $4 billion for the drugmaker last year. Stay tuned, however, as Teva might still appeal the ruling.

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