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Teva, Sun to pay $2.15 billion to Pfizer, Takeda to settle Protonix case

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pfizer will receive more than $2 billion from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries to settle a case concerning a gastroesophageal reflux disease drug.

The drug maker said Wednesday that Sun and Teva had agreed to pay $2.15 billion in a patent-infringement suit over the drug Protonix (pantoprazole). The money will compensate Pfizer and Takeda for damages they incurred when Teva and Sun launched "at-risk" generic versions of Protonix in 2007 before the 2011 expiration of a patent covering the drug. Teva will pay $1.6 billion, and Sun will pay $550 million; Pfizer will receive 64% of proceeds.

A federal jury in New Jersey determined that the launches violated U.S. Patent No. 4,758,576, owned by Takeda and licensed to Wyeth, which Pfizer acquired in 2009.


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Costco cancels Iranian business memberships in Japan, U.K.

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Workers for Iran’s airline and embassy in Japan will have to go somewhere else for their big packages of paper towels.

Costco Wholesale Corp. said it found and canceled four employees of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Japan and two employees of Iran Air in the United Kingdom who had business memberships with the club retailer. The embassy employees spent about $5,497 at the store, while the Iran Air members didn’t spend any money, for a total profit of less than $168.

"The Company does not intend to continue these activities," a quarterly regulatory filing read. The disclosure was made under the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012.

Of the club retailer’s 627 stores around the world, 24 are in the United Kingdom, while 15 are in Japan.

 

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PhRMA: 215 drugs under development for cardiovascular disease

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — More than 200 drugs are under development for cardiovascular disease, according to a drug industry trade group.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America announced Wednesday the release of a report showing that 215 drugs are under development for heart disease and stroke. More than 83 million Americans have at least one type of cardiovascular disease, and a person in the United States dies from it every 39 seconds, according to the American Heart Association.

"Safe and effective medicines that control blood pressure and lower cholesterol have helped to significantly reduce deaths from heart disease," PhRMA president and CEO John Castellani said. "The cardiovascular therapies in the pipeline reflect the commitment of America’s biopharmaceutical research companies to build on the progress made to date and help patients lead longer and healthier lives."

The drugs under development — all of them in clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration — include 30 for heart failure, 29 for lipid disorders, 19 for stroke and 17 for high blood pressure. 

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