Tuesday, December 19, 2006

EPO revokes Astra-Zeneca's patent on Nexium; chiral switch failure?

Reuters reported: The European Patent Office [EPO] has revoked a key patent on AstraZeneca Plc's top-selling drug Nexium, the organization said on December 19.

The decision follows an appeal from German generic manufacturer Ratiopharm against substance-of-matter patent, which protects the heartburn and antiulcerant pill from cheap generic copies.

This key European patent was not due to expire until 2014.

AstraZeneca said it was disappointed with the patent office decision but it still had confidence in the intellectual property portfolio protecting Nexium.

Nexium/Prilosec is an example of the separate patenting of an enantiomer/racemate, sometimes referred to as a chiral switch. This decision could be quite important in the chiral area.

***Entirely separately-->

Carlos Alvarez, a professor at Florida International University, was accused of spying for decades on Cuban-American exile groups and prominent individuals in Miami, as well as reporting on U.S. political affairs. His wife, also a university employee, was implicated to a lesser degree in the alleged spying. Alvarez and his wife pleaded guilty Dec. 19 to reduced federal charges in a case involving allegations that both had spied for the Cuban government for decades.


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