Switzerland's Actelion facing $547m payout in US lawsuit

1st May 2011, Comments 0 comments

Swiss biotechnology group Actelion could have to pay up to $547 million (370 million euros) after losing a lawsuit with Japanese company Asahi Kasei Pharma in a California court, the company revealed Sunday.

A jury found against the company on Friday evening and awarded the company "up to 547 million US dollars", said Actelion. The jury would meet to consider punitive damages on Tuesday, it added.

"The company is disappointed, but respectful of the jury's verdict in this ongoing litigation," the statement said.

Once the jury has concluded its deliberations, Actelion would consider its response, "including (but not limited to) an appeal," the statement added.

The dispute dates back to November 2008 when Asahi filed suit over the cancellation of an agreement with Actelion subsidiary Cotherix to licence and develop a drug compound called fasudil.

© 2011 AFP

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