In yet another boost to India's biggest drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories, a Norwegian court has ruled in its favour in the patent litigation against Pfizer for cholesterol lowering drug Atorvastatin (Lipitor).
The Oslo City Court sided with the company by finding non-infringement of two of Pfizer's Norwegian patents (No. 177,566 and No. 180,199) covering particular intermediate compounds, Ranbaxy said in a statement in New Delhi.
Earlier in November 2005, the Norwegian Court had found the Ranbaxy's atorvastatin product not infringing one of Pfizer's process patents (No 309,322) but was found violating the other one of Pfizer's patents (No 177,706), covering a particular intermediate compound.
Commenting on the Norwegian court's decision, RLL Senior Vice President, Global Intellectual Property Jay Deshmukh said it was the most important decision for Ranbaxy, as "it significantly validates our position regarding the atorvastatin patents."
"We will continue to actively pursue all of our options in Norway and other markets in order to bring affordable atorvastsatin to patients around the world," he added.
Ranbaxy's victory in Norway comes close on the heels of the US Appeals court giving it a partial win against Pfizer for Lipitor by upholding one of its patent while another was found to infringe earlier this month.
Following the partial win, RLL said it would advance the launch date to March 2010 from June 2011 with 180-day exclusivity in the US market, subject to the appellate process and market authorization by the USFDA.
The two companies have been locked in pitched patent battle over Lipitor across various markets.