Denmark court defends Pfizer Lipitor patent

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The Eastern Division of the High Court in Copenhagen, Denmark, has ruled in Pfizer’s favor regarding challenges to two of its patents covering atorvastatin, the active ingredient in Lipitor.

The Mumbai, India-based Ranbaxy, a generic drug manufacturer, challenged Pfizer’s basic (DK 171,588) and enantiomer (EP 409,281) patents.

The New York City-based Pfizer said the court ruled that the basic patent, which expires in November 2011, would be infringed by Ranbaxy’s generic atorvastatin product. The court also ruled that the atovastatin enantiomer patent is valid.

The patent expires in July 2010. However, the decision, which is subject to possible appeal, prevents Ranbaxy from launching its generic product before November 2011, according to Pfizer.