Follows challenge by Teva, Hexal and Accord Healthcare
Germany's Federal Patent Court has ruled a patent for AstraZeneca's antipsychotic Seroquel XR invalid after a challenge by a trio of generic drug companies.
Teva, Hexal and Accord Healthcare successfully persuaded the court to strike out the formulation patent protecting Seroquel XR (quetiapine fumarate) prolonged-release tablets.
This version of the drug is marketed as Seroquel Prolong in Germany, where it brought in $82m in the ten months to October 31, 2012.
“AstraZeneca is disappointed with the court's decision. The company remains committed to defending its intellectual property protecting Seroquel XR,” the firm said in a statement.
Seroquel has faced a number of generic challenges from companies keen to take a slice of global sales from that last year reached $5.8bn for the Seroquel franchise.
When it comes to protecting the extended release (XR) version of its antipsychotic drug AstraZeneca has had mixed results.
In March, a US court ruled the XR patent was valid, deciding that the generics companies Anchen Pharmaceuticals, Osmotica Pharmaceutical, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Mylan had infringed AZ's patent.
But in the same month the legal situation turned against AZ in its home territory of the UK, where the high court deemed the Seroquel XR patent invalid.