New Delhi: The world’s biggest drugmaker Pfizer said on 21 March a Canadian court has ruled in its favour upholding patent for a molecule of its cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor, thereby preventing Indian rival Ranbaxy Laboratories from launching generic version till 2010.
The Federal Court of Appeal of Canada has reversed a lower court ruling that held that Pfizer’s enantiomer patent could not block generic manufacturer Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited from obtaining approval for a competitor product to Lipitor, the company said in a statement.
The appellate court issued an order prohibiting regulatory approval of Ranbaxy’s product in Canada until Pfizer’s enantiomer (calcium salt) patent Canadian Patent No. 2,021,546 expires in July 2010, it added.
“This decision sends a strong signal about the importance of protecting intellectual property in Canada, which provides the incentive for research-driven pharmaceutical companies to make the significant high-risk investments necessary to develop new life-saving medicines,” Pfizer Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel Peter Richardson said.
The court’s ruling is not only an important one for Pfizer, but also for patients, he added.
Ranbaxy officials were not available for comments. The company may, however, seek a review of the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada.