Wednesday, December 20, 2006

EPO revokes Nexium Patent, AstraZeneca to lose potential market

EPO has revoked AstraZeneca’s European Patent EP0652872 covering esomeprazole magnesium, the active ingredient Nexium, a move which may potentially cost AstraZeneca more than US $ 1bn in annual sales in EU. According to spokeswoman for AstraZeneca, the EPO decision is not open to appeal. The ruling came out to be significant victory for German drug make Ratiopharm which challenged the validity of Astra’s patent. Ratiopharm first challenged the “novelty and inventiveness” of the Astra’s patent in 2001 which got rejected by the EPO in 2003 and subsequently appealed by Ratiopharm.

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