Bristol Goes Back to Drawing Board
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) saw its shares sag Monday as a legal setback for the anticoagulant Plavix, the company's biggest drug, disheartened investors.
After the markets closed Friday, state attorneys general rejected a deal that Bristol-Myers and Plavix's developer, Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), had made with a Canadian generic-drug maker, Apotex. The agreement would have halted patent litigation and protected Plavix against generic competition until mid-2011.
When the companies announced the decision, they didn't say what their next step would be, but they did express uncertainty about the future of the anticoagulant.
At this time, it isn't possible "to assess the outcome of the Plavix litigation, including the Apotex matter, or the timing of potential generic competition for Plavix," they said. "
Legal WranglingThe Plavix problem accelerated in January when Apotex received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin selling generic Plavix. The brand-name drug companies previously had sued Apotex, claiming patent infringement, but they
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