09/30/2011 03:51 EDT | Updated 11/29/2011 05:12 EST

AstraZeneca settles Seroquel patent case with US drug firm Handa Pharmaceuticals

LONDON - Drug maker AstraZeneca says it has reached an agreement with a U.S. company to settle patent infringement litigation.

AstraZeneca said Friday that Handa Pharmaceuticals of Fremont, California had accepted that AstraZeneca had valid patents for Seroquel XR for the treatment of depression.

Seroquel is the third-largest selling drug for the London-based pharmaceutical company.

Handa announced in December that it had won preliminary approval to distribute its generic product in the United States.

As part of the settlement, AstraZeneca says it has granted Handa a license to enter the U.S. market with a generic version of Seroquel by Nov. 1, 2016. AstraZeneca holds several patents on the drug which expire between March 2012 and November 2017.