Updated from 8:51 a.m. EDT
said Monday that it would probably appeal a courtruling Friday that prevents the drugmaker from selling a generic version ofthe heartburn medicine Prilosec.
On Friday, three of four companies, including Andrx, were found toinfringe on Prilosec patents owned by Anglo-Swedish drugmaker
. The only company found not to infringe was KUDco, a unit ofthe German drugmaker Schwarz Pharma AG.
Shares of Andrx were off 40% to $11.92 in recent trading. AstraZenecashares were up 12% to $36.39.
"We are obviously exceedingly disappointed by the court's decision,"said Andrx President and Chairman Elliot Hahn in a statement. "We continueto believe that the Andrx product does not infringe Astra's patents andwhile we have the utmost respect for the court, we believe it arrived at thewrong conclusion."
Andrx still has a 180-day window of market exclusivity on marketinggeneric Prilosec in the U.S., granted by the Food and Drug Administration.In addition to appealing the court ruling, Hahn said the company mightstrike a deal with other companies, presumably KUDco, to push a generic formof Prilosec onto the market sooner.
In a statement issued Saturday, Schwarz Pharma said it was seeking a wayto get its version of Prilosec onto the market as soon as possible.
Andrx also said it has $65 million in Prilosec inventories and purchasecommitments on its books as of Sept. 30. The company plans to establish anallowance for these inventories and record a loss against them in the thirdquarter.
Judge Barbara Jones of the U.S. Court of the Southern District of NewYork ruled on the Prilosec patent case Friday night.
Prilosec is the second-largest selling drug in the U.S. with 2001sales of $3.7 billion, and global sales of $5.7 billion.