Astellas Pharma Inc. ("Astellas"; headquarters: Tokyo; President and CEO: Toichi Takenaka) filed a patent infringement lawsuit on September 15 with the Tokyo District court against Taiyo Yakuhin Co., Ltd. ("Taiyo"; headquarters: Nagoya) demanding that Taiyo stop infringing Astellas' patent rights on its oral cephalosporin antibiotic cefdinir (brand name: Cefzon® ).

The oral cephalosporin antibiotic cefdinir was invented by Astellas (formerly Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. ("Fujisawa")). It is stable to various beta-lactamases, enzymes that decompose antibiotics, and shows bactericidal activity against a broad spectrum of Gram-positive and negative bacteria. It was launched by Fujisawa in 1991 in the form of capsules under the brand name of Cefzon® Capsule. It has been clinically used to treat a wide range of infectious diseases including respiratory infections.

Taiyo obtained an NHI price for an oral cefdinir capsule preparation under the trade name of CEFLOSIL Capsule 100mg in July 2005. However, Astellas has a patent on the crystalline form of cefdinir valid until August 2008. In the belief that Taiyo's product infringes on our patent, therefore, Astellas filed a patent infringement lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court demanding that Taiyo stop the production and marketing of this product and discard the products it holds in stock.

Astellas will continue warning against all infringements on its patent rights and will take the appropriate legal action including lawsuits to eliminate the infringements whenever any evidence or likelihood of infringement is found.