SpicyIP Tidbit: Spanish Court Upholds Pfizer’s Lipitor Patent

Continuing with “the mother of all patent challenges”, the Spanish front seems to spell fortune for Pfizer. Earlier in 2007, a Spanish Court upheld Pfizer’s basic patent covering the calcium salt of atorvastatin, the active ingredient in Lipitor but invalidated a patent on a stabilized enantiomer formulation that includes atorvastatin. It appears that the Court of Appeals in Barcelona has reversed the lower’s court’s decision and has upheld the enantiomer patent as well which is due for expiry only in 2010.

Pharmalive reports as follows:
The patent was challenged jointly by generic companies Laboratorios Cinfa S.A., Kern Pharma S.L., Laboratorios Alter S.A. and Laboratorios Belmac S.A., and is one of four separate challenges to the enantiomer patent by generic companies in Spain. Lipitor is sold in Spain under the brand names Zarator and Cardyl. “This is a victory not only for Pfizer, but for all innovators pursuing high-risk medical discoveries and for the patients who benefit from those discoveries,” said Pfizer Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel Peter C. Richardson. Cinfa, Kern, Alter and Belmac can seek to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Spain.

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