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Vectura, Sandoz gets favourable ruling in inhaler packaging case against GSK

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Vectura, Sandoz gets favourable ruling in inhaler packaging case against GSK
FILE PHOTO: The GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) logo is seen on top of GSK Asia House in Singapore, March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Loriene Perera   -   Copyright  Loriene Perera(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Vectura Group <VEC.L> said on Friday a British court had ruled in its and partner Sandoz’s <NOVN.S> favour over the packaging of a generic version of an inhaler made by bigger rival GlaxoSmithKline <GSK.L>.

Vectura said the court dismissed all GSK claims related to the packaging of AirFluSal Forspiro, which it developed in partnership with Swiss drugmaker Novartis-owned Sandoz as a branded copycat of GSK’s asthma inhaler, Seretide Accuhaler.

GSK, with which Vectura has partnerships, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Vectura and GSK have slapped claims against each other over certain products and patents.

In May, a jury found that one of Vectura’s U.S. patents was infringed by the sale of three of GSK’s Ellipta products in the United States and Vectura was awarded $89.7 million in damages.

Sandoz launched AirFluSal Forspiro in late 2015, following which GSK filed a legal claim that Sandoz had used shades of purple similar to Seretide’s packaging to pass off AirFluSal Forspiro as being related to GSK’s product.

Forspiro is a dry powder inhaler developed by Vectura andlicensed to Sandoz for use with the AirFluSal product.

Seretide is a combination of two active ingredients that make it easier to breathe and is sold by GSK in the UK in two forms, one of which is the Seretide Accuhaler, which delivers the drug as a dry powder.

Vectura shares rose as much as 2.4% after the announcement.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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