Wyeth said this
week that it would begin shipping an authorized generic version of Protonix
(pantoprazole), its ulcer drug, through Prasco.
follow the at-risk launch of generic pantoprazole tablets in the US by Teva
Pharmaceuticals in December. Until Tuesday, a standstill
agreement prevented Teva from shipping additional generic product,
and it was expected to remain in effect through today. The move by Wyeth clears
the way for Teva to resume shipments of its own copycat. Another company, Sun
Pharmaceuticals, has final approval to ship a generic as well.
sales of $1.91 in 2007, a 6% increase over 2006, the company reported today.
Sales rose 10% in the fourth quarter to $461 million. Bear Stearns analyst John
Boris estimated that Wyeth would sell only $350 million of Protonix this year,
including the authorized generic. According to that model, its Protonix revenue
would plummet 81%. Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Robert Uhl projected sales
of generic pantoprazole copies, presumably priced at a substantial discount, of
$230 million in 2008.
Wyeth, it's got three other blockbusters in the fold. Antidepressant Effexor
had 2007 sales of $3.8 billion, a 2% increase over 2006; vaccine Prevnar $2.4
billion, a 24% rise; and anti-inflammatory drug Enbrel, for which Wyeth books
ex-US sales, just over $2 billion, a 36% increase.
and Altana (which was purchased by Nycomed last year) are seeking an injunction
against Teva for infringing the Protonix patent, as well as monetary damages
including lost profits. Last year the US District Court for the District of New
Jersey denied the companies' motion for the preliminary injunction prior to
resolution of ongoing patent litigation. A trial is possible in the second half