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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Natco Pharma slumps as US SC agrees to hear Teva appeal

Natco Pharma slumped 13.17% to Rs 692 at 13:15 IST on BSE after the company said that US Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal filed by Teva Pharmaceutical in a patent fight over top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

Natco Pharma made the announcement during trading hours today, 1 April 2014.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was down 48.51 points, or 0.22%, to 22,337.76.

On BSE, so far 3.30 lakh shares were traded in the counter, compared with an average volume of 12,731 shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 775 and a low of Rs 655.55 so far during the day. The stock hit a record high of Rs 877 on 6 March 2014. The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 390 on 16 May 2013.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 31 March 2014, sliding 5.61% compared with the Sensex's 5.99% rise. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, falling 1.21% as against Sensex's 5.74% rise.

The small-cap company has an equity capital of Rs 33.07 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

According to reports, the development is a big negative for Natco Pharma as by agreeing to hear the case the US Supreme Court cast into doubt a July 2013 ruling by another US Court that ruled in favour of companies developing cheaper generic of Copaxone.

In July 2013, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had ruled in favor of two teams developing cheaper generic forms of Copaxone: one involving Novartis AG's Sandoz Inc and Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc and another involving Mylan Inc and Natco Pharma.

Protections on Teva Pharmaceutical's patent on Copaxone were set to expire in May 2014. But an adverse decision by the US Supreme Court could deter generic manufacturers like Natco Pharma from introducing cheaper versions in the US market in May, reports suggested.

Natco Pharma said it continues to believe that Teva Pharmaceutical's 808 patent is invalid for indefiniteness.

Reports said that Teva is the world's largest maker of generic drugs, but its branded Copaxone has accounted for about 20% of its sales and 50% of its profits.

On a consolidated basis, Natco Pharma's net profit rose 32.3% to Rs 29.88 crore on 18.3% decline in revenue to Rs 189.39 crore in Q3 December 2013 over Q3 December 2012.

Natco Pharma manufactures generic dosage forms, bulk actives and intermediates for the Indian and international markets.