Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Apotex pays $444-million to generic rivals

Apotex president Jack Kay.

Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Sanofi SA , the French pharmaceutical group, and its U.S. partner Bristol-Myers Squibb received a $444-million payment from their generic rival Apotex as the companies braced for the expiry of exclusive rights to their leading blockbuster Plavix.

The settlement – following a lengthy legal battle against Apotex since 2002 – was announced on Wednesday as Sanofi posted 2011 results with a warning that patent expiry would this year help depress earnings by 12-15 per cent.

Apotex in 2006 launched a rival, lower cost version of Plavix (known generically as clopidogrel) "at risk" – on the assumption that it would win any litigation over the patent.

Story continues below advertisement

The two partner companies said: "Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb are pleased that their intellectual property rights have been upheld and that Apotex has made reparation of the harm caused by the at-risk launch of a generic version of clopidogrel bisulfate in 2006."

The French pharmaceutical group posted net income down 5 per cent to €8.8-billion ($11.6-billion Canadian) on sales up 3 per cent for the year to €33.4-billion.

Chris Viehbacher, chief executive officer, said: "Beyond the remaining patent cliff in 2012, the robust performance of our diversified growth platforms, the reduced exposure to future patent expiries and progress on R&D, position Sanofi for a period of sustainable growth."

Report an error
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.