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Ranbaxy loses battle against Pfizer

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London, Feb 22 (UNI) Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, India's biggest drugmaker, today lost yet another legal tussle against Pfizer, with a Finnish court prohibiting it from marketing its generic version of Pfizer's cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor in the country.

The ruling of the Helsinki Court of Appeal, involving Pfizer's patent (FI94958) covering processes and intermediate compounds used to make atorvastain, the active ingredient in Lipitor, had granted a preliminary injunction against Ranbaxy, prohibiting it from marketing a generic version of Lipitor.

The patent expires in February 2009.

''This decision is another significant milestone in our defence of Lipitor patents around the world,'' Pfizer Vice Chairman and General Counsel Jeffrey Kindler said in a statement on the company's website.

The decision of the Helsinki court reverses an earlier lower court ruling and is subject to a possible appeal to the Finnish Supreme Court.

UNI XC RA SD RK1826

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