New Delhi: Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, India’s top two drug makers, will launch versions of a migraine drug grossing $985 million, or Rs3,891 crore, for GlaxoSmithKline Plc towards the expiry of the patent on the medication, potentially earning profits of up to Rs540 crore more in 2009.
Ranbaxy on Monday said it had settled a lawsuit with the British patent holder, also known as GSK, and will enjoy a six-month market monopoly in the US, beginning December. Dr Reddy’s had said in October 2006 that it had been signed on by GSK as the authorized generics partner on Imitrex, the migraine drug whose patent expires in February 2009.
The Gurgaon drug maker could earn between $80 million and $90 million in the six month exclusivity period, while Dr Reddy’s could earn anything from $22-46 million, three drug analysts, interviewed by Mint, said on condition of anonymity. “Ranbaxy will benefit more than Dr Reddy’s in its out-of-court patent settlement as it won’t be sharing its profits,” said a Mumbai-based analyst with a global equity firm, who did not want his firm or himself identified.
It was not immediately clear if Monday’s settlement by Ranbaxy was exclusive or it would share the period with a US unit of Cobalt Pharmaceuticals Inc., an Ottawa-headed firm with which GSK had settled a similar case in November 2006. A Ranbaxy spokesperson insisted the firm would enjoy a full exclusivity period for sumatriptan succinate (the chemical name of Imitrex) for 25mg, 50mg and 100mg strengths.
Monday’s development is similar to a market situation involving the two drug makers and Merck and Co. Ranbaxy, as the patent challenger on Merck cholesterol drug Zocor, had earned revenues of $60 million and Dr Reddy’s, as Merck’s partner for Zocor and prostrate cancer drug Proscar, had grossed $400 million in sales.
In an unrelated development, Dr Reddy’s on Monday said it had settled with Novartis AG not to introduce generic variants of Alzheimer’s drug Exelon that grossed the Swiss drug maker $199 million in 2006. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.