AstraZeneca Sues To Stop Crestor Patent Challenge

NEW YORK (AP) -- Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday it is being sued by AstraZeneca PLC because of a patent challenge on the cholesterol drug Crestor.

Watson has asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve a generic version of the drug, challenging AstraZeneca's patent. AstraZeneca is defending its patent and sued Waston in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware seeking to block the company from selling a generic product prior to the patent expiration set for March 30, 2013.

The lawsuit blocks final FDA approval of Watson's generic until either March 30, 2013 or until a final decision by the court.

Crestor had U.S. sales of about $3.5 billion during the 12 months ending June 30, Watson said, citing IMS Health data.

Shares of Watson, based in Corona, Calif., declined 42 cents to $46.17 while shares of AstraZeneca, based in London, fell 90 cents to $51.01 in morning trading.
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