Pfizer Inc said that the Eastern Division of the High Court in Copenhagen, Denmark has ruled in the company's favour in challenges to two of its patents covering atorvastatin, the active ingredient in Lipitor. The basic (DK 171,588) and enantiomer (EP 409,281) patents were challenged by generics manufacturer Ranbaxy.

The court ruled that the basic patent, which expires in November 2011, would be infringed by Ranbaxy's generic atorvastatin product. The court also ruled that the atovastatin enantiomer patent is valid. That patent expires in July 2010. The decision, which is subject to possible appeal, prevents Ranbaxy from launching its generic product before November 2011.

"Today's decision is an important outcome for Pfizer and other medical innovators who invest in high-risk research to develop life-saving medicines for millions of patients," said Pfizer Denmark Country Manager Karin Verland.