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Published on 7 January 2010

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Heartburn drug patent row settled

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An Anglo-Swedish firm has settled a patent row over the protection of its drug for treating heartburn.

The US patent row over the drug Nexium was settled by AstraZeneca and Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals in a move that protects the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker’s product.

AstraZeneca granted a licence that allows the sale of a cheap copy of Nexium, or esomeprazole, in the US market on May 27, 2014, when the first of its patents expire.

The deal with Teva, the world’s biggest generic drug producer, is similar to another agreement in April 2008 with Indian firm Ranbaxy Laboratories , which also challenged patents on the drug.

AstraZeneca granted a licence in both instances, allowing the generic firms to start selling a cheap copy of Nexium, or esomeprazole, in the US market on May 27, 2014, when the first of its patents expire.

Ranbaxy was the first to file for a US generic version of Nexium, entitling it to 180 days of exclusivity before rivals enter the market.

“This settlement strikes an appropriate balance between protecting the value of our shareholders’ investment in Nexium, mitigating uncertainties and addressing the many other costs associated with patent litigation,” said AstraZeneca spokesman Neil McCrae.

Copyright Press Association 2010



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