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GSK loses Viani patent case in Germany

The Federal Patents Court in Germany has ruled against GlaxoSmithKline regarding its patent for Viani, a treatment for asthma and COPD

The Federal Patents Court in Munich, Germany has ruled against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) regarding its patent for Viani (Seretide), an inhaled respiratory treatment for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Mylan, Hexal (part of Novartis' Sandoz), Neolab, and IVAX (owned by Teva) brought the case against GSK to Court.

The Court concluded that under German law GSK's German combination patent for Viani (relating to the combination of the active ingredients salmeterol and fluticasone propionate) was not valid.

GSK is studying the judgment and will be considering an appeal to a higher court.

In a statement, GSK said that "the decision relates solely to the German combination patent for Viani and is not binding in any other jurisdiction". 

GSK holds a number of other Viani-related patents in Germany, including patents for the Diskus dry powder inhaler and HFA aerosol formulation, which expire in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Viani is also known as Advair in other markets. In 2009, the drug accounted for 18 per cent of GSK's revenue and posted sales of $7.8bn.

20th May 2010

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