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Actelion to appeal damages order

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09:26 CEST+02:00

Swiss biotechnology group Actelion said Wednesday that it would appeal against $547 million in damages awarded by a California court to Japanese company Asahi Kasei Pharma.

Actelion said in a statement that it had also filed a short-term court motion to try to pare down compensation, partly due to previous arbitration on the issue.

"The company will file appropriate further post-trial motions and will appeal the entire judgment," it added.

It believes the ruling is "neither supported by the facts nor is it correct as a matter of law."

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.

Its current motion is asking for a choice to be made between damages of $358.95 million for alleged lost profits or $187.4 million in alleged development costs; and for an additional deduction of $78.4 million due to previous arbitration.

The biotech firm noted that punitive damages of 30 million dollars had also been awarded against some company executives.

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