Natco Pharma shares fell as much as 18 per cent on Tuesday after the US Supreme Court agreed to hear Teva Pharmaceuticals’ appeal in a patent fight over Copaxone, a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis. Branded Copaxone has accounted for about 20 per cent of Teva’s sales and 50 per cent of its profits.
Protections on Teva’s patent on Copaxone were set to expire in May 2014. But, an adverse decision by the US court could deter generic manufacturers like Natco from introducing cheaper versions in the US market in May. Analysts had on an average priced in Rs. 330 in Natco’s share factoring a May 2014 launch for generic Copaxone.
Siddhant Khandekar of ICICI Direct told that for 2014-15 fiscal his brokerage had factored in Rs. 450 crore from generic Copaxone towards overall sales of Natco. The legal hearing will start in October, so the May 2014 launch may be delayed, he said.
“Sales from Copaxone were pegged at 40 per cent of Natco’s overall sales seen at Rs. 1,328 crore in FY15,” he added.