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

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 -
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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 https://public.gsk.co.uk/products/seretide/i-am-a-patient.html, 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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