The US District Court for the District of Delaware has ordered AstraZeneca to pay $107.5m to Pfizer in damages for infringing patents related to the lung cancer drug Tagrisso.

The patents in question are licensed by Pfizer to Puma Biotechnology for the production of the breast cancer drug Nerlynx, Reuters has reported.

The jury found that AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso violated Pfizer’s Wyeth unit’s patent rights under US patents 10,603,314 and 10,596,162.

AstraZeneca’s spokesperson expressed the company’s disappointment with the verdict but is “confident in our IP (intellectual property) position in relation to Tagrisso” and intends to “vigorously defend” its rights.”

Tagrisso was a significant revenue generator for AstraZeneca in 2023, bringing in $5.8bn.

Pfizer acquired Wyeth in 2009 and initiated the lawsuit against AstraZeneca in 2021.

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Pfizer claimed that Tagrisso’s use of kinase inhibitors for cancer treatment infringed on the patented methods used by Nerlynx.

AstraZeneca refuted the allegations of infringement and challenged the validity of the patents.

The case is set to continue with US District Judge Matthew Kennelly presiding over a separate bench trial in June 2024 to address AstraZeneca’s remaining defences.

This trial could potentially overturn the current verdict.

In a separate development, the Financial Times has reported that the European Patent Office upheld a key patent of Moderna, marking a victory in the company’s ongoing Covid-19 vaccine dispute with Pfizer and BioNTech.

Pfizer and BioNTech were sued by Moderna in 2022. It accused them of using its patented mRNA technology in their vaccine, Comirnaty.

The two companies filed a countersuit, claiming that Moderna’s patent is invalid.

Both companies’ vaccines generated substantial revenues throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.