Patent blow for AstraZeneca

The High Court has found the patent to be invalid on the extended-release version of Seroquel, AstraZeneca's blockbuster antipsychotic, dealing a further blow to a highly profitable franchise. The ruling followed a patent challenge by units of Teva Pharmaceuticals and Novartis's Sandoz – the two biggest generic drugmakers – as well as Accord Healthcare and Intas Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca said yesterday. The pharma giant said it was “disappointed” with the decision, which is only binding in Britain, but added it was committed to defending the drug.