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AbbVie, AstraZeneca settle patent cases for cancer drugs Imbruvica, Calquence

Drugmakers AbbVie Inc. and AstraZeneca PLC have settled lawsuits between them that claimed their competitor's blood cancer treatment was in violation of their own patents.

AbbVie's Imbruvica — co-developed with Johnson & Johnson — is used to treat blood cancers like lymphoma and leukemia, and AstraZeneca's newer drug Calquence has been approved and is in trials for similar uses.

The companies filed the suits in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, where the agreement was approved Oct. 23. No terms of the settlement were released at that time.

AbbVie's Pharmacyclics unit sued AstraZeneca in 2017 after Calquence won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for mantle cell lymphoma. U.K.-based AstraZeneca fired back with a suit of its own.

Based on clinical trial results, the FDA has given Calquence a breakthrough therapy designation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, giving AstraZeneca potentially faster access to the U.S. market that Imbruvica has already secured.