Ivax-pharmaceuticalsGlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that the Commercial Court in Dublin, Ireland, ruled in patent litigation regarding GSK's product Seretide, an inhaled respiratory treatment for asthma and COPD.

Justice Charleton ruled in favour of the claimants Ivax Pharmaceuticals Ireland (now part of Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd) deciding that under Irish law GSK's Irish combination patent for Seretide (relating to the combination of the active ingredients salmeterol and fluticasone propionate and expiring in 2013) was not valid.

The decision relates solely to the Irish combination patent for Seretide and is not binding in any other jurisdiction. Other patents registered in Ireland related to Seretide include the Diskus dry powder inhaler and HFA aerosol formulation patents which expire in 2011 and 2012 respectively. In addition, significant technical hurdles exist in the development, manufacture and regulatory approval of inhaled respiratory medicines.

GSK is studying the judgment and will be exploring the possibility of an Appeal to a higher court.