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US court blow sends Cipla, DRL tumbling

Mumbai, Oct 14: Share prices of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd (DRL) and Cipla Ltd nose-dived today over concerns that their earnings could be hit by a US court ruling last week.

The US court had last week ruled that generic drug companies had infringed AstraZeneca’s patent claims over its reputed drug, Prilosec.

Of the duo, it was Cipla, which bore the brunt of the ruling, with the stock plummeting close to 7.74 per cent. DRL on the other hand, fell by over 5 per cent. The former was a supplier to Andrx Corp, the generic drug company which was also ruled to have infringed upon AstraZeneca’s patent claims. “Of the two, Cipla would have been the biggest loser,” explained an analyst for the stock taking a massive hit.

The Cipla stock, which opened at Rs 925 after rising to an intra-day high of Rs 930, plunged to a day’s low of Rs 888, before recovering marginally from these levels to close at Rs 899.50, a fall of Rs 76.05 over the previous close.

DRL which began at Rs 815, fell to an intra-day low of Rs 775, following which it opened at Rs 774.05, a loss of Rs 52.70 over its last finish. The counter saw 7,961 trades with over 2.96 lakh shares being transacted.

Meanwhile, DRL announced that it would appeal the US court ruling on two of the patents that were found to be invalid. In a press statement issued today, the Hyderabad-based company said the case originally commenced with AstraZeneca’s suit on seven patents.

Of these seven patents, Judge Barbara Jones found one patent concerning a metabolite of omeprazole to be not infringed, and found three patents covering particular uses, or therapies, of omeprazole to be invalid.

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