Nycomed's U.S. patent for Protonix® (pantoprazole) valid

(PresseBox) ( Zurich, )
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- Nycomed's Protonix® patent found infringed and not obvious
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has uphold jury findings
- Nycomed will continue to vigorously pursue its damage claims

Nycomed announced today that Judge Jose L. Linares of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has confirmed the jury verdict in favor of Nycomed and Pfizer Inc. The decision upholds the jury verdict issued on April°23, 2010, confirming that the patent is valid and rejecting allegations by the defendants that the patent was invalid as obvious and invalid for double patenting. Against KUDCo, the US generic drug business of the Schwarz Pharma Group, which did not atrisk launch, final Judgment was entered as a result of Judge Jose L. Linares' rulings.

All issues regarding validity and infringement of Nycomed's U.S. patent for Protonix® (pantoprazole) have been decided by the District Court in Nycomed's and Pfizer's favor.

Håkan Björklund, Chief Executive Officer of Nycomed, commented: "We are very pleased that the court recognized and acknowledged that our patent is valid. Patents represent the foundation of pharmaceutical innovation and are crucial to bring new medicines and treatments to patients who need them."

Nycomed now will continue to vigorously pursue its damage claims in this case, resulting from the launch of generic versions of Protonix® atrisk by Teva and Sun. In 2007, before Teva and Sun started their patent infringing generic sales, Protonix® sales reached USD 1.9°billion[1], and have since then decreased considerably. Nycomed will also seek a rapid adjudication of Teva's and Sun's remaining miscellaneous unenforceability defenses which were, together with Nycomed's damage claims, bifurcated from the first trial.

The pantoprazole patent, U.S. Patent No. 4,758,579, is owned by Nycomed and licensed to Wyeth[2], and expires in January 2011 (including pediatric exclusivity). Nycomed and Wyeth had filed their original patent infringement lawsuit in May 2004. In late 2007, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., launched a generic version of the product atrisk, followed by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., in early 2008.

About Protonix® (Pantoprazole)

Protonix® (Pantoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to reduce or prevent the production of gastric acid. Pantoprazole is an effective treatment for conditions where gastric acid reduction is required. It reduces the symptoms of a number of illnesses including stomach and intestinal gastric ulcers, heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and other related gastrointestinal diseases. Pantoprazole is also effective in preventing NSAIDinduced gastric ulcers and is used by patients undergoing longterm NSAID therapy.

[1] Wyeth Financial Report 2007
[2] Wyeth became a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) on October 15, 2009.
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