The New York-based drug giant confirmed this afternoon a federal appeals court overturned one of two patents related to top-selling drug Lipitor.
The court upheld the main patent covering the active ingredient of the cholesterol-lowering treatment but ruled that a second patent known as the “995” patent — set to expire in 2011 — was invalid, according to a company release.
“Losing [the ‘995’ Lipitor patent] effectively shaves about a year off the terminal life of Lipitor,” wrote analyst Tim Anderson of Prudential Equity Group.
“From here, Pfizer doesn’t really have any realistic recourse … Instead, the company will have to rely that much more on pipeline drug torcetrapib.”
The Prudential analyst reiterated an “overweight” rating on the stock.
Last December, a district court judge ruled against Ranbaxy Laboratories, a generic drugmaker based in India, which sought to bring a generic version of Lipitor to the market prior to the June 2011 patent expiration.