Investors cautious over Lipitor patent challenges

Share this article:

Investors are betting cautiously on Pfizer's Lipitor, which could either continue its unprecedented surge or take a huge sales hit, depending on the outcome of ongoing patent litigation.
Deutsche Bank large-cap pharmaceuticals analyst Barbara Ryan told CNN/Money.com yesterday she thinks Pfizer has an 80 percent chance of winning its patent fights, but investors are taking a different view, being very cautious prior to the outcomes of the court battles.
"Investors don't want to make the bet because it's too hard to call," Ryan said.
Pfizer is awaiting verdicts in two court fights with Indian generic drug maker Ranbaxy Laboratories. The Lipitor patent challenges are being decided in a U.S. district court in Delaware as well as a British court. Both companies are awaiting judges' rulings, which could come by the end of the year.
Pfizer holds at least two patents for Lipitor, scheduled to expire in 2010 and 2011.
The cholesterol-lowering treatment was the first drug to break the $10 billion sales mark with 2004 global sales totaling $10.8 billion.
Deutsche Bank projects that Lipitor's global sales will grow to $14.2 billion in 2007 if Pfizer retains the patents. But if Pfizer loses, it could face an $8.6 billion drop in annual sales by 2007.
According to Deutsche Bank analysts, if Ranbaxy succeeds in proving the patents invalid, the company could have a generic version of the drug on the market as early as 2007. Analysts also said Lipitor's competitors, including Crestor and Vytorin, could suffer from declining sales if patients are given the option to switch to cheaper generics.

Share this article:

Email Newsletters

More in News

Survey finds pay doesn't make doctors happy

Survey finds pay doesn't make doctors happy

Medscape's survey of over 24,000 physicians found that a paycheck is not necessarily linked to a physician's professional satisfaction.

CDC sees declines in some diabetes complications

CDC sees declines in some diabetes complications

Centers for Disease Control data shows that diabetes complications including heart attack and amputation fell in the twenty years between 1990 and 2010. The bad news: the number of diagnosed ...

BI rethinks hepatitis business, posts 2013 results

BI rethinks hepatitis business, posts 2013 results

Boehringer Ingelheim says it is no longer pursuing an interferon-free combination of faldaprevir and deleobuvir.