On February 13, 2015, SSJR, for its client Apotex, won a patent trial against AstraZeneca, lifting an injunction and clearing the path for Apotex to enter the $1.1 billion annual Pulmicort Respules® market with a generic version of the popular asthma drug. SSJR will now be seeking damages as compensation for the delay of Apotex’s entry into the Pulmicort Respules market. To date, AstraZeneca has been required to post $322 million in bonds as security for damages caused as a result of the injunction against the defendants.

In the litigation, AstraZeneca asserted U.S. Patent No. 7,524,834 in an attempt to prevent Apotex from selling its generic budesonide inhalation suspension, which is equivalent to AstraZeneca’s Pulmicort Respules®. After conducting a 13 day bench trial, the New Jersey District Court issued a 166 page ruling, in which the Court specifically adopted SSJR’s invalidity arguments in finding the patent invalid as obvious. U.S. Patent No. 7,524,834 was AstraZeneca’s last remaining patent covering Pulmicort Respules®, as SSJR previously invalidated AstraZeneca’s other two patents covering the drug in a prior trial.

This victory is the most recent example of SSJR’s patent litigation expertise, particularly in the specialized area of ANDA and pharmaceutical patent litigation.