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Actelion Wins $70.4 Million Reduction of Asahi Kasei Award

Actelion Ltd. said a California court reduced by $70.4 million the amount it was ordered to pay to Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. over development of the lung drug fasudil.

A state-court jury in San Mateo County awarded $577 million to Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei on May 4. The court granted Actelion’s request to offset some of the award with a previous arbitration payment, the Allschwil, Switzerland-based company said today in a statement.

“The company and its external advisers believe that the jury verdict is neither supported by the facts nor is it correct as a matter of law,” and will appeal, Actelion said in the statement.

Asahi Kasei sued Actelion in 2008 claiming the company acquired CoTherix Inc. to halt work on fasudil and protect profits for its competing product, Tracleer. Before the acquisition, CoTherix was developing fasudil with Asahi Kasei.

The decision “was not unexpected” and “was about $7 million less” than requested, Christopher J. Banks, an attorney representing Asahi Kasei, said in an e-mailed statement.

The case is Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. v. Actelion Ltd., CIV478533, Superior Court of California (San Mateo County).

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