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Trial date set for AstraZeneca drug


A major pharmaceutical firm still expects to prevail in a trial over its cholesterol drug, despite failing to win a summary judgement against genetic companies challenging the patent.

AstraZeneca believes it will be cleared to continue with its Crestor drug after the trial in 2010.

A motion by the Anglo-Swedish company to dismiss claims of inequitable conduct made by generic firms seeking to invalidate the key ‘314 patent on Crestor was rejected by the US District Court for the District of Delaware.

Industry analysts always thought it was a long shot to attempt to eliminate the most significant issue in the case, by achieving a favourable summary judgement ruling on inequitable conduct.

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At a full trial in February 2010, Judge Joseph Farnan will hear all issues of inequitable conduct.

AstraZeneca spokesman Neil McCrae said that the company remains confident it will prevail on these issues at the trial.

The sale of other medicines fell away, the company said, as Crestor recouped sales of $3.6 billion in 2008.

Copyright Press Association 2009

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