Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
) received a favorable ruling from the UK High Court in a patent
infringement case related to its generic version of AstraZeneca's (
) Symbicort (fixed dose combination of formoterol/budesonide).
The Court ruled that the patent (EP 1,085,877) protecting
AstraZeneca's Symbicort for the SMART (Single inhaler Maintenance
And Reliever Therapy) indication was invalid.
Teva said that the UK High Court also rejected AstraZeneca's patent
amendment request for Symbicort. The Court's verdict in favor of
Teva has paved the way for the company to launch its own
formoterol/budesonide combination product, DuoResp Spiromax, in the
We note that Teva won multiple patent litigation cases against
AstraZeneca in the past. Teva had previously revoked two other
patents covering AstraZaneca's fixed dose combination of
formoterol/budesonide − EP 0,613,371 (asthma) and EP 1,014,993
(chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) before the European Patent
Office and the Norwegian court.
Reslizumab Meets Primary Endpoint
Meanwhile, Teva's asthma candidate, reslizumab, has met the primary
endpoint in two phase III studies. Reslizumab showed a
statistically significant reduction in the frequency of clinical
asthma exacerbations in patients with inadequately controlled
moderate-to-severe asthma and elevated levels of blood eosinophils.
The company intends to file for reslizumab's approval in the first
half of 2015, starting with the U.S., followed by the EU and other
Given Teva's dependence on its generics business for growth and the
rising competition in the generics market, we are concerned about
the company's top-line performance. However, the latest court
ruling in favor of Teva's generic version of AstraZeneca's
Symbicort should boost the company's performance in the EU.
Teva carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in
the pharmaceutical sector are Allergan Inc. (
) and Endo International plc (
). Both stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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