UK court backs Teva in patent case over AstraZeneca's Symbicort

Teva said Wednesday that the UK High Court ruled in the company's favour in a patent case related to AstraZeneca's asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) therapy Symbicort (formoterol/budesonide). The Israeli drugmaker noted that the decision supports the recent launch of its fixed-dose formoterol/budesonide combination product DuoResp Spiromax in the UK.

Specifically, the court ruled that AstraZeneca's patent covering the SMART indication of Symbicort was obvious, and rejected the UK company's proposed amendments to the patent on the basis that they added matter. Teva previously won orders revoking two patents covering the use of Symbicort in the treatment of asthma and in COPD respectively, and their national equivalents, before the European Patent Office and the Norwegian court.

Teva gained European approval for DuoResp Spiromax in April. The therapy, which is delivered via the company's Spiromax device technology, has been launched in Germany, Denmark and Portugal. A Teva spokesman said DuoResp Spiromax would be a "significant" product for the company, but did not provide sales estimates.

Symbicort generated global revenue of just under $1.9 billion in the first half of 2014.

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