UK drugmaker sues Teva over patent challenge

Drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC said Wednesday that it has filed a lawsuit in a US court against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. over a patent challenge to one of its key drugs from its Israeli rival. The Anglo-Swedish company said it had begun action in US District Court in New Jersey against Teva for "willful infringement" of the substance patent that protects its best-selling schizophrenia treatment Seroquel. The lawsuit is a response to an application filed by Teva in late September with the US Food and Drug Administration to market a generic version of a 25 milligram tablet version of the drug in the United States before AstraZeneca's patent expires in 2011. "AstraZeneca has full confidence in and will continue vigorously to defend and enforce its intellectual property rights protecting Seroquel," the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.