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EPO Rules AstraZeneca MUPS Patent Valid

LONDON, Nov. 19, 2007-The European Patent Office (EPO) Opposition Division today ruled that the European patent for a MUPS® formulation (EP 723 437) is still valid in amended form, despite four oppositions from generic drug manufacturers.

This positive decision means that this patent covering a multiple unit tablet is still valid in Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, UK, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia until 2015.

MUPS® stands for multiple unit pellet tablets, comprising a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) compound. The formulation is used for Nexium® and Losec® tablets and the amended claims still cover these products.

AstraZeneca has a comprehensive intellectual property portfolio protecting MUPS® formulations as well as the products Nexium® and Losec®. More importantly, the intellectual property portfolio protecting Nexium® includes additional patents with expiration dates ranging from 2009 through to 2018. In addition to these patents, Nexium® has data exclusivity valid until March 2010 in most major European markets.

Media Enquiries:
Steve Brown, +44 207 304 5033 (24 hours)
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Investor Enquiries:
Jonathan Hunt, +44 207 304 5087
Ed Seage, +1 302 886 4065
Karl Hard, +44 207 304 5322
Jorgen Winroth, +1 212 579 0506
Mina Blair, +44 20 7304 5084
Peter Vozzo, (MedImmune) +1 301 398 4358 

Posted: November 2007