Ranbaxy Laboratories has lost a patent challenge in Denmark, against Pfizer on
Atorvastatin the active ingredient of the world’s largest selling cholesterol drug-Lipitor.
The Eastern Division of the High Court in Copenhagen (Denmark) upheld the basic and salt patents on Lipitor. The basic patent on Lipitor expires in November 2011 in Denmark and the salt patent in July 2010.
The decision, which is subject to an appeal, prevents the launch of Ranbaxy’s generic version before November 2011.
Ranbaxy, which has been taken over by Japanese drug maker Daiichi-Sankyo for $4.6bn, had settled the Lipitor litigation out-of-court with Pfizer for most geographies except for Finland, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Romania. Ranbaxy had challenged the Lipitor patent in about 18 geographies in the largest-ever patent litigation.
However, the settlements cover more than 90-95% of the Lipitor market, thus making the existing litigations insignificant. On the back of the open offer, we maintain a BUY on the stock, with a target price of Rs535.