U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 36 mins

AstraZeneca: German court voids Seroquel XR patent

NEW YORK (AP) -- AstraZeneca PLC said Tuesday a German court threw out a patent protecting its antipsychotics drug Seroquel XR.

The British drugmaker said the patent was being challenged by several companies, including the German unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Seroquel XR is one of the company's top-selling drugs, as worldwide sales grew 7 percent to $1.13 billion over the first nine months of 2012. The U.S. patents protecting Seroquel XR are set to expire in late 2017, and AstraZeneca agreed to allow Intellipharmaceutics to sell an authorized generic version starting in November 2016. Other drug companies are also seeking approval to market generic versions of the drug.

U.S.-listed shares of AstraZeneca rose 15 cents to $45.46 on Tuesday.