AstraZeneca Shares Rise on Court Victory
June 30, 2010
Shares in AstraZeneca rose sharply in London Wednesday after the drug company won a U.S. court ruling to protect a patent for its blockbuster cholesterol drug, Crestor, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. District Court in Delaware ruled on Tuesday that a key patent for Crestor was valid, the company said. AstraZeneca sold $4.5 billion worth of Crestor, its third-largest seller, in 2009. As the London Stock Exchange opened, AstraZeneca shares were up 8.7 percent at 257 pence ($3.87). The case began in 2007 when nine generic drug manufacturers challenged AstraZeneca''s patent on rosuvastatin calcium, the active ingredient in Crestor. The patent expires in 2016. AstraZeneca and Shionogi, the owner of the patent, then filed patent infringement suits against eight manufacturers or subsidiaries: Apotex, Aurobindo, Cobalt, Mylan, Par, Sandoz, Sun and Teva. The ruling prevents any of the companies from securing their abbreviated new drug applications until 2016, AstraZeneca said.