Sanofi-Aventis SA, maker of the Allegra-D 24 allergy medicine, lost a court ruling in its challenge of a plan by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. to sell a generic version of the drug.
Sanofi conceded in a court filing today that based on an interpretation by a district judge in Newark, New Jersey, the copy wouldn’t infringe a patent owned by partner Albany Molecular Research Inc. Paris-based Sanofi said it will appeal the judge’s ruling on the definition of terms in the patent.
Allegra, in all forms, accounted for about $619 million in revenue in the first nine months of last year for Sanofi, France’s biggest drugmaker. Dr. Reddy’s, India’s second-biggest drugmaker, was precluded in June from selling a generic version of the extended-release form of Allegra-D in the U.S. until a trial could be held. The company can now enter the market.
U.S. District Judge Garrett Brown issued his interpretation of the patent earlier this month. Sanofi and Albany Molecular “cannot carry their burden of proving infringement” based on the judge’s ruling, the companies said in the filing.
“The filing of this stipulation does not represent a final outcome in the ongoing patent litigation,” Sanofi said in an e- mail today. The company “will continue to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights.”
Albany Molecular, based in Albany, New York, reported in November that it received $26.9 million in Allegra patent royalties in the first nine months of last year, about 18 percent of total company revenue.
Albany Molecular dropped 35 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $5.13 at 4:29 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Dr. Reddy’s American depositary receipts, each representing one ordinary share, rose $1.12, or 3.3 percent, to $35.47 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Sanofi ADRs, two of which represent one ordinary share, fell $1.90, or 5.4 percent, to $33.35.
The case is Albany Molecular Research Inc. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd., 09cv4638, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Newark).
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