According to analysts tracking the sector, the positive trend can be attributed to the settlement news between Sanofi-Aventis and Apotex Inc over the drug Plavix. "French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis has settled a patent lawsuit against Apotex Inc for a generic version of the blood thinner Plavix and there are expectations that a similar settlement would also be reached with Dr Reddy's Laboratories, which is also mulling a low-cost version of the drug. This created a positive sentiment for the complete sector," said a pharma analyst of a leading domestic brokerage.
Incidentally, Plavix is the world's second-largest selling drug after Pfizer's Lipitor. On BSE, the stock of Aventis Pharma Ltd gained a marginal 0.52% or Rs 9.75 to end the day at Rs 1,899.50.
However, sector heavyweight Dr Reddy's Laboratories stole the show by gaining nearly 10% or Rs 130.75 to end the day at Rs 1,489.35. Not surprisingly, the stock was also the biggest gainer among the Sensex pack, which boasted of only 11 gainers.
Lupin Ltd (up 3.20% at Rs 974.50), Cadila Healthcare (2.61% up at Rs 662.35), Strides Arcolab (gaining 2.42% at Rs 355.50), Matrix Labs (up 1.67% at Rs 262.35) and Torrent Pharma (1.17% gain at Rs 195) all closed in the black. Cipla Ltd, Nicholas Piramal India Ltd, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd also notched up marginal ground on Wednesday.