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AstraZeneca, Novartis other news

July 11, 2011 7:00 AM UTC

A judge in the Patents Court of the Chancery Division of the U.K. High Court of Justice ruled that two patents covering a phage display screening method from the MedImmune LLC subsidiary of AstraZeneca are invalid due to obviousness. Mr. Justice Arnold also ruled the patents are not infringed by ophthalmic drug Lucentis ranibizumab from Novartis. MedImmune said in a statement that it still believes the patents are valid and infringed, and added that it will appeal. MedImmune has not received any revenue from Novartis for Lucentis, and would not disclose whether it has received revenues from other companies for products covered by the patents. Novartis declined to comment.

MedImmune originally filed suit in 2009 alleging that Lucentis infringed the patents. The patents are also part of ongoing disputes in other European countries, including Switzerland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Novartis, which has rights to the antibody fragment outside North America from the Genentech Inc. unit of Roche (SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY, Basel, Switzerland), markets Lucentis in the EU to treat wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). ...