AstraZeneca’s patent on the cholesterol fighter, Crestor, is valid and enforceable, according to a decision in late June handed down from the US District Court.

In an unusually exuberant statement from the company, AstraZeneca officials said that their reaction could only be described as a cry of joy. The company stock rallied 9.1% on the Stockholm exchange after the announcement and also rose on Wall Street.

Last year the drug had U.S. sales of $2.1 billion and global sales of $4.5 billion. AstraZeneca said that this benchmark judicial decision in their favor represented a victory for their company in combating what they termed "premature" competition from generic pharmaceutical manufacturers. Crestor has become AstraZeneca's most valuable single product, and sales in the American market are now protected against competition from lower priced duplicates until 2016.

Furthermore, AstraZeneca has filed suits against eight generic producers for patent infringement in regard to the medicine. Company spokesmen believed that the US District Court's decision would have future significance to the large pharmaceuticals industry in general.