Ranbaxy goes 3-0 up on Pfizer in Norway

New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
Indias largest pharma company Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd will be able to launch a generic version of Lipitor, the worlds largest selling drug, in Norway by 2009 after a local court ruled in its favour on two patents challenges.

Ranbaxy, which is challenging four of Pfizers patents in Norway, now has a favourable ruling on three. The financial impact of the ruling on Ranbaxy, however, will be limited.

In 2005, Lipitor fetched revenue of $50 million in Norway, while its global revenue was $12 billion. Typically, prices crash between 70-90% after a product goes off-patents.

On the Bombay Stock Exchange, Ranbaxy shares closed at Rs 404.55, up 2% over the previous close.

Ranbaxy has challenged Pfizers patents on Lipitor in 17 markets, including the US, the UK, Austria, Finland, Italy, Belgium and Germany. The Norway ruling comes on the back of another favourable order in the US courts of appeal.

If the Norway patents had held, Pfizer could have prevented the sale of the generic version of the drug until 2010.

The City Court in Oslo sided with the Indian drug maker by finding non-infringement of two of Pfizers Norwegian patents (No 177,566 and No. 180,199), covering intermediate compounds of Lipitor (generic name Atorvastatin Calcium), the company said in a statement.