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Nerves Frayed at Forest

He doubts there will be a settlement, "considering that Forest had such a good case." Goodman's report was issued before Forest said on Tuesday that it was suing Caraco Pharmaceutical Laboratories, (CPD) for infringing on Lexapro's patent.

Although analysts are fixated on the Lexapro litigation, Goodman says Forest, which specializes in licensing drugs, has some pipeline prospects that could raise its prospects in the next 12 months.

He is "modestly optimistic" about nebivolol, an experimental blood-pressure medication licensed in January from Mylan Laboratories (MYL) for sale in the U.S. and Canada. He figures the drug could carve out a niche in a very crowded market for hypertension, while a significant gain would come if the drug could be approved for congestive heart failure.

Forest expects to seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration for nebivolol as a treatment for heart failure, but Goodman worries that the agency will demand more clinical trials. He isn't sure Forest will want to spend the time and money.

Mylan received the FDA's conditional approval for nebivolol as a blood-pressure treatment in May 2005, saying more tests would be needed before the drug could be cleared. That led Forest to suggest the drug could be approved in mid to late 2007.

Goodman also is "fairly bullish" on an experimental antibiotic, Orapem, that Forest licensed in February from Replidyne (RDYN), a Louisville, Colo., company that just went public. Replidyne asked the FDA in December to approve the drug for treating several diseases, including acute bacterial sinusitis and certain skin infections in adults. The FDA is expected to comment in October.

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