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UK court permits Ranbaxy to appeal Lipitor verdict

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Nov. 3

RANBAXY Laboratories Ltd today said that the UK High Court had granted it permission to appeal the October 12 judgment stating that its atorvastatin product would infringe Pfizer's European patent.

The court had upheld the exclusivity until November 2011of the main patent covering the active ingredient of atorvastatin — a cholesterol-lowering drug, which is marketed by Pfizer as Lipitor. It also ruled invalid another patent, which covers the calcium salt of atorvastatin.

In his decision today, Mr Justice Pumfrey granted permission to both Ranbaxy and Pfizer to appeal the respective rulings in the UK Court of Appeal. The outcome of both appeals is expected by the end of 2006.

Mr Malvinder Singh, President and Executive Director, Ranbaxy, said, "Having already been successful in invalidating one of the two key Pfizer patents relating to atorvastatin in the UK, Ranbaxy is encouraged to have been granted the opportunity to make its case on the infringement decision on the other patent before the UK Court of Appeal. We remain committed to our objective of bringing an affordable generic formulation of atorvastatin to the National Health Service in the UK."

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