Monday, June 25, 2012

Momenta shares drop as co loses patent lawsuit

Momenta shares drop as co loses patent lawsuitOrlando, FL 6/25/12 (StreetBeat) -- Shares of Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc (Nasdaq:MNTA) slipped 22 percent on Monday after the company lost a patent lawsuit brought against it by bigger rival Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA).

On Friday, a U.S. court upheld Teva's patents for its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone well into 2015.

"Friday's negative ruling on Copaxone delays the potential launch of (Momenta's generic Copaxone)," Canaccord Genuity analyst Ritu Baral said and downgraded Momenta's stock to "hold" from "buy."

"While Momenta's Baxter-partnered biosimilars program and branded drugs have significant long-term potential, lack of near-term catalysts likely limits 12-month upside," Baral added.

Momenta said that it remained confident in its legal position and intended to appeal the decision.

"Timing of an appeals process can be hard to gauge and, although we have not seen the final ruling, historically, appeals have a low probability of success," analyst Baral added.

She said she does not expect Momenta's generic version to be launched until at least September 1, 2015.

Israel's Teva, which is also the world's largest generic drugmaker, had filed a lawsuit against Momenta and Novartis unit Sandoz as well as Mylan Laboratories (Nasdaq:MYL) and Natco Pharmaceuticals for infringement of multiple Copaxone patents.

Copaxone is a branded drug that is expected to generate $3.8 billion of Teva's total revenue of $20 billion to $21 billion in 2012.

Momenta shares were down 18 percent to $13.92 in morning trade on Nasdaq. They touched a low of $13.30 earlier in the session.

Mylan's shares were down 1 percent at $21.00 on the Nasdaq, while those of Teva were up 6 percent at $40.42 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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