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Apotex, Impax lose appeal over AstraZeneca's Prilosec.

AstraZeneca Plc, maker of the ulcer drug Prilosec, won the right to seek compensation from Impax Laboratories Inc. (Hayward CA) and Canada's Apotex Inc. for some of the sales it lost to their generic versions of the medicine. The two companies infringed AstraZeneca's patents on the medicine, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington ruled last week, upholding a lower-court ruling. In June, the court said Mylan Inc. (Canonsburg PA) didn't infringe the same patents. The federal appeals court ruling will have little effect on the availability of generic versions of the ulcer drug because the two patents expired in October. The decision allows London-based AstraZeneca to seek compensation from Impax, Apotex and Impax's partner, Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., for any sales they made when the patents were in force.

"This decision, upholding both the validity and enforceability of the patents, once again reaffirms the strength of our intellectual property," AstraZeneca spokesman Blair Hains said. Prilosec, which has the chemical name omeprazole, is sold without a prescription. AstraZeneca sells a newer version of the drug called Nexium and is fighting to keep copies of that medicine off the market as well. The case is In Re Omeprazole Patent Litigation, 2007-1414; 1416, 1458, and 1459 Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Washington).
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Title Annotation:CORPORATE
Publication:MondayMorning
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:218
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