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Teva welcomes landmark 'victory for patient' in Intellectual Property case


LONDON, 30 April 2013 - Teva UK Limited (Teva) has welcomed the judgment of the Court of Appeal today in support of its case against AstraZeneca relating to the validity of the patent covering quetiapine ER (a generic version of Seroquel®). This ruling confirmed the decision of the UK High Court in March 2012 that AstraZeneca’s patent was invalid.

Seroquel®, an antipsychotic treatment, was launched in its generic form quetiapine by Teva on expiry of the patent covering the molecule in 2012. Teva also launched an Extended Release formulation of quetiapine, which AstraZeneca deemed to be covered by their patent covering the extended release formulation.

In today’s ruling, Lord Justice Mummery, supported by two other Lord Justices of the Court of Appeal, agreed with Teva that AstraZeneca’s patent covering the Extended Release version of Seroquel using a gelling agent to regulate the release rate, was not inventive and would therefore not warrant additional patent protection, on top of the patent covering the molecule itself. When giving the ruling, the Court stated “[The High Court judge’s] conclusion was justified on a proper application of his correct understanding of the relevant principles of patent law to the facts found by him on the evidence.” The judges refused AstraZeneca leave to appeal to a higher court.

Teva UK Limited Managing Director Richard Daniell welcomed the outcome: “Delivering the best medicines at the best price for the benefit of patients is our number one priority. Whilst we are wholly committed to respecting valid intellectual property rights, we will fight for our patients where necessary to ensure they have access to sustainable, high-quality and affordable healthcare products.

“We see the conclusion of this appeal as a victory for us, our patients, but also the pharmacist who works on the patient’s behalf and for sustainable healthcare.”

The case was brought by Teva to facilitate an early launch of its generic versions of Seroquel® XL on the day that the patent for quetiapine expired in the UK in March last year. In March 2012 the High Court agreed with Teva that the patent was invalid. AstraZeneca sought to overturn this decision, but the appeal ruling today resulted in victory for Teva.

Richard Daniell said that the case had raised important industry issues: “Our pharmacists know that Teva supports them, and stands up for them. We hope this case sends a signal that we are working with our customers, with the interests of the patient always coming first.”

In addition to this victory, Teva says that it will make an application to claim its legal costs from AstraZeneca.


For media enquiries, contact the Teva UK Limited Communications team on 01977 628500, or email

Notes to Editors:

About Teva UK Limited
Teva UK Limited is one of the UK’s top ten pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a presence in the generics, branded respiratory and hospitals markets. It has the widest range of any UK generic pharmaceutical company and markets solid and liquid dose, injectable and respiratory medicines to healthcare professionals. The company is part of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

About Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) is a leading global pharmaceutical company, committed to increasing access to high-quality healthcare by developing, producing and marketing affordable generic drugs as well as innovative and specialty pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Headquartered in Israel, Teva is the world's leading generic drug maker, with a global product portfolio of more than 1,000 molecules and a direct presence in about 60 countries. Teva's branded businesses focus on CNS, oncology, pain, respiratory and women's health therapeutic areas as well as biologics. Teva currently employs approximately 46,000 people around the world and reached $20.3 billion in net revenues in 2012.