AstraZeneca Sued Over Lung Cancer Treatment Patent

On Wednesday a case was filed in the District Court of Delaware. The case was filed by PUMA Biotechnology Inc and Wyeth LLC against AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. The case is regarding possible infringement of the patent for Tagrisso, also known as Osimertinib.

Tagrisso, the complaint said, is a drug created for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, Japan, and Western Europe and represents 75% of all lung cancers.

Prior treatments, such as gefitinib and elotinib, were later found to be ineffective due to the patient becoming resistant or desensitized to the treatment, the complaint explained. Tagrisso, which bonds to epidermal growth factor receptors and hinders the growth of the cancer.

Wyeth is a co-owner of the patent-in-suit, and PUMA is the direct licensee. The plaintiffs alleged that AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso drug, even though it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, infringes on their patent.

The plaintiffs argue that in order to file the New Drug Application (NDA), AstraZeneca had to have been aware of the original patent in order to obtain the information required for the application.

The plaintiffs are suing for direct infringement of the patent. They are represented by Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell.