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Pfizer to appeal Dutch Lipitor patent ruling
 
 
  29 February 2008
www.pharmatimes.com
 
US drug giant Pfizer is taking a stand against a decision by the Court of Appeal of The Hague in the Netherlands which ruled that its enantiomer patent for the world's number one selling drug Lipitor is invalid.
 
The group is locked in an ongoing global battle with Indian generics maker Ranbaxy over the intellectual property surrounding Lipitor (atorvastatin), but stressed that the latter's victory with this particular patent (EP 409,281), which expires in July 2010, actually has no commercial impact because the basic patent protect the drug remains in tact until November 2011.
 
Just last week the same court concluded that the basic patent would be infringed by Ranbaxy's proposed generic atorvastatin product, thereby preventing its launch until the patent expires in 2011.
 
Pfizer is certainly having to work hard to protect its super-blockbuster. Last month, a court in Canada ruled in favour of generic drugmaker Apotex by turning down Pfizer's bid to stop the launch of its generic version of Lipitor before the expiry of the same enantiomer patent in July 2010.
 
But the New York-based drug giant has also racked up a fair few successes under its belt, the most recent being the Court of Appeal of Barcelona upholding the patent in Spain last autumn, and the group has vowed to continue to vigorously defend its intellectual property.
 

By Selina McKee
 
Dutch Court Rules Against Pfizer Patent
 
Feb 28, 2008 The Associated Press
 
NEW YORK - Pfizer Inc., which sells the world's best-selling drug Lipitor, said Thursday it will appeal a ruling from a Dutch court which found one of its patents on the cholesterol drug to be invalid.
 
Pfizer said the patent, known as EP 409,281, had been challenged by generic drug maker Ranbaxy, which is seeking to sell a generic version of the drug. Pfizer maintains the patent doesn't expire until July 2010.
 
The decision _ by the Court of Appeal of The Hague in the Netherlands _ has no commercial impact because Pfizer's key patent covering Lipitor remains in force and expires in November 2011, the company said.
 
Last week the same court ruled in favor of Pfizer, saying the basic patent _ not EP 409,281 _ would be infringed by Ranbaxy's proposed generic atorvastatin product. That decision, which is also subject to possible appeal, prevents Ranbaxy from launching a competitor drug before November 2011, according to Pfizer.
 
Pfizer reported $3.4 billion in Lipitor sales during the fourth quarter.
 
The company pointed out that Thursday's ruling does not affect patent litigation involving Lipitor in other jurisdictions, including the United States.
 
Pfizer said it will continue to vigorously defend its patents against infringement.
 
Shares of Pfizer fell 6 cents to $22.69 in morning trade.
 

February 28, 2008 10:11 AM Eastern Time
 
Pfizer to Seek to Appeal Lipitor Enantiomer Patent Ruling in the Netherlands, Company Notes That Ruling Has No Commercial Impact

 
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
 
Pfizer Inc said today that it will seek to appeal a ruling of the Court of Appeal of The Hague in the Netherlands that Pfizer's atorvastatin enantiomer patent is invalid. The patent (EP 409,281) had been challenged by generics manufacturer Ranbaxy and expires in July 2010.
 
The decision has no commercial impact because Pfizer's basic patent covering Lipitor (EP 247,633) remains in force and expires in November 2011. Last week, the same court ruled that the basic patent would be infringed by Ranbaxy's proposed generic atorvastatin product. That decision, which is also subject to possible appeal, prevents Ranbaxy from launching a competitor drug before November 2011.
 
The company pointed out that today's ruling does not affect patent litigation involving Lipitor in other jurisdictions, including the United States. Pfizer said it will continue to vigorously defend its patents against infringement.
 
 
 
 
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