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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge ruled late on Friday that AstraZeneca PLC's patent on its Pulmicort Repsules treatment for asthma was invalid, opening up the market to a second, cheaper generic version.
Actavis Plc said that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey ruling prompted it to release a generic version of the lung drug. Another generic version of Pulmicort Respules from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, under a previous agreement with AstraZeneca, has been on the market for some time.
Total branded and generic sales of Pulmicort over the twelve months ended June 30, 2014 were approximately $1.1 billion, according to Actavis.
Paul Hudson, president of AstraZeneca's U.S. operations, said that the company strongly disagreed with the court's decision and that it is considering legal options, including an appeal.
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