A federal judge in the United States decided last Friday that AstraZeneca PLC‘s patent regarding its Pulmicort Repsules treatment to address asthma was invalid; the market is now open to a second, cheaper generic version.
Actavis Plc indicated that the U.S. District Court of New Jersey’s decision prompted them to offer their own generic version of the drug, following Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ version of the Pulmicort Respules that has been on the market for some time now, under an agreement established previously with AstraZeneca.
The branded and generic sales of Pulmicort over a period of one year ended on June 30, 2014 and totaled almost $1.1 billion, according to Actavis’ reports.
The president of AstraZeneca’s U.S. operations, Paul Hudson, said that the firm does not agree with the decision of the court, and plans to file for an appeal, similar to what the Company did after the United States District of New Jersey invalidated the patent for Pulmicort. Thanks to AstraZeneca’s appeal, that ruling was reversed and later, in October, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was remanded.
According to AstraZeneca, “the decision would not have an impact on its 2015 guidance of a mid single-digits percent decline in sales revenue and a low single-digit percent gain in core earnings per share, assuming currency exchange rates remain constant.”
AstraZeneca is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing medicines that can address unmet needs in Cardiovascular and Metabolic disease (CVMD); Oncology; and Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA). The company also focuses on research in the Infection, Neuroscience and Gastrointestinal (ING) disease areas.