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Patent case: Relief for Ranbaxy in Canada

In a big boost to Indian pharma major Ranbaxy, the Federal Court of Canada has found Pfizer's Canadian 'atorvastatin' patent CA 2,021,546 as invalid.
None | By Press Trust of India, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 27, 2007 09:14 PM IST

Domestic pharma firm Ranbaxy Laboratories has secured a favourable verdict from Canada's Federal Court in the 'Lipitor' case against global drug maker Pfizer.

The Federal Court of Canada has found Pfizer's Canadian 'atorvastatin' patent CA 2,021,546 as invalid, Ranbaxy informed the Bombay Stock exchange.

Atorvastatin is a cholesterol-lowering drug which is marketed by Pfizer under the brand Lipitor.

"We are pleased with this decision as it stands, as it allows the entry of Ranbaxy's generic atorvastatin in Canada upon marketing approval," Ranbaxy senior vice president, Global Intellectual Property, Jay Deshmukh said.

"The Honourable Justice von Finckenstein dismissed Pfizer's application to deny issuance of a Notice of Compliance (NoC) as regards Pfizer's Canadian patent CA 2,021,546, finding the patent invalid for not 'correctly and fully describing the invention'," the domestic pharmaceutical major added.

Specifically, Justice Finckenstein found that the "false suggestion of a ten-fold increase in activity cannot be backed up by the data provided."

The Minister of Health Canada was ordered not to issue an NoC until expiry of the other contested Pfizer patent (CA 1,268,768) which is May 7, this year.

The court's ruling followed a hearing in Toronto, which took place from January 8 to 11.

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