Last week, we had reported that Ranbaxy was prohibited by the Court of Appeal in Netherlands from launching a generic version of Pfizer’s basic Lipitor patent on atorvastatin (EP 247633). In an interesting reversal of fortunes, the same court has invalidated Pfizer’s patent on the enantiomer of atorvastatin (EP 409281) which was challenged by Ranbaxy. Pfizer may prefer an appeal against this ruling. It may be recalled that the Nexium case too deals with patent on S-enantiomer of Omeprazole, namely S-Omeprazole or esomeprazole. The decisions in both these cases give us enough food for thought about patents being granted to isolated forms of racemic mixtures.
The details of the Lipitor case are available here.