Global Processing

Astra''s Symbicort patent revoked

May 7, 2008
The Associated Press is reporting that AstraZeneca PLC said recently that a European patent has been revoked covering the use of its Symbicort medicine as a treatment for a condition commonly known as "smoker''s cough."

AstraZeneca said that the decision by the European Patent Office to revoke the patent covering the use of Symbicort for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, followed an appeal from generic manufacturers Healthcare and Generics UK.

The company said the patent in question is one of two covering the drug for treatment of COPD in Britain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Portugal, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Cyprus, Latvia, Romania and Slovenia.

A second patent is also being disputed, and the company said it will continue to "defend and enforce" its remaining intellectual property rights protecting Symbicort.

This portfolio includes patents and applications for processes, formulations, delivery devices and use "as needed," with expiration dates up to 2019.

In addition to these patents, Symbicort retains data exclusivity until August 2010 in some European markets.