Analysts are impressed by the news that AstraZeneca has reached a settlement with the USA's Handa Pharmaceuticals which prevents the latter from selling a generic form of the antipsychotic blockbuster Seroquel XR until the end of 2016.

The agreement settles the patent infringement litigation filed by AstraZeneca following Handa’s submission to the US Food and Drug Administration for a generic version of Seroquel XR (quetiapine). Under the terms of the deal, privately-held Handa does not dispute that both patents asserted by AstraZeneca in the US litigation are valid and enforceable and the latter has been granted a licence to enter the US market with generic Seroquel XR on November 1 2016, or earlier upon certain circumstances.

The drug is protected by patents and other exclusivity rights that range from March 2012 to November 2017. Remaining Seroquel XR patent infringement litigations remain on-going but analysts believe that other generic drugmakers planning to launch copies of the drug will now look to settle as well.

The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker's chief executive, David Brennan, said "this agreement reaffirms our intellectual property rights and is the right business decision for AstraZeneca at this time".