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Expert Financial Analysis and Reporting

Zegerid’s Patents Are Ruled Invalid (SNTS, $5.36)

On April 14th, Santarus announced that a Court has ruled that five patents covering Santarus’ ZEGERID® (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate) prescription products are invalid due to obviousness. These patents were the subject of lawsuits brought by Santarus against Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. The case was heard in a five-day bench trial that concluded on July 17, 2009. Santarus plans to appeal the Court’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Court. Based on the Court’s ruling, the company will be forced to reduce the sales force from around 300 representatives to about 85. It would no longer promote Zegerid and would focus all of the sales force promotion on Glumetza, which is exceeding expectations. In this negative outcome, it appears that only Par and Santarus would be marketing a generic as the company is not aware of any other ANDA filings. With the cost savings from the sales force reduction, however, there might be no impact on the bottom line. This is just a very well managed company. Even as they lost in the Zegerid patent situation the stock could be more attractive for investment. We are excited about the new product outlook in the pipeline which is excellent based on the potential for budesonide MMX for ulcerative colitis. The NDA could be filed in 2H, 2011 and marketing could begin in 2H, 2012.

Tagged as + Categorized as Company Reports


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