Federal Court of Appeal in Canada Upholds Lipitor Enantiomer Patent, Decision Prevents Launch of Generic Product by Ranbaxy until 2010
NEW YORK -- Pfizer Inc said today that the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada has reversed a lower court ruling that held that Pfizerâ€™s enantiomer patent could not block generic manufacturer Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited from obtaining approval for a competitor product to Lipitor. The appellate court issued an order prohibiting regulatory approval of Ranbaxyâ€™s product in Canada until Pfizerâ€™s enantiomer (calcium salt) patentâ€”Canadian Patent No. 2,021,546â€”expires in July 2010.
â€œThis decision sends a strong signal about the importance of protecting intellectual property in Canada, which provides the incentive for research-driven pharmaceutical companies to make the significant high-risk investments necessary to develop new life-saving medicines,â€ said Pfizer Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel Peter Richardson. â€œThe courtâ€™s ruling is not only an important one for Pfizer, but also for patients.â€
Ranbaxy may seek a review of the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada.