Bangalore: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd has launched a generic version of Novartis’ diabetes fighter in the United States, a spokesman for the Indian drugmaker said on Monday, sending its shares up 1.7% in a weak market.
The company had received US regulatory approval last week for nateglinide, a copycat version of Starlix, he said, but declined to give details.
Brokerage Nomura said in a report Dr Reddy’s was likely to share 180-day exclusivity to sell this drug in the United States along with other generic players, including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Par Pharmaceutical.
Shares in Dr Reddy’s, which has a market value of $2.8 billion, was up 1.6% at Rs822 by 0648 GMT while the Mumbai market was down 0.6%.
Dr Reddy’s and local rivals such as Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd and Cipla Ltd have thrived on booming global demand for generic drugs as nations around the world battle rising healthcare costs.
But the export-driven Indian companies are facing stiff pricing pressure as more drug makers jump into the generics market. Increased scrutiny of manufacturing standards by overseas regulators is also a worry as it could delay new launches.
Dr Reddy’s chief operating officer Satish Reddy told Reuters last month the No. 2 Indian generic drug maker planned to launch six to seven new generics in the United States in 2009-10, including blockbuster omeprazole.
Omeprazole is a generic version of AstraZeneca’s Prilosec and is indicated for the treatment of stomach ulcers and acid reflux. Dr Reddy’s will be the second generics maker after Perrigo to sell the copycat variant of this drug.
Last year, Dr Reddy’s had launched acute migraine drug sumatriptan, a generic of GlaxoSmithKline’s Imitrex, in the US market, which helped its North America revenue nearly double in the June quarter.