June 18, 2009 / 6:59 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Sanofi says US court ruled against it on Eloxatin

(Adds Hospira, analyst comments)

LOS ANGELES, June 18 (Reuters) - Sanofi-Aventi SA (SASY.PA) on Thursday said a U.S. court ruled against the French pharmaceutical company by granting summary judgment motions brought by generic drugmakers in patent litigation over the cancer drug Eloxatin.

Hospira Inc HSP.N, a maker of injectable generic drugs, said the court ruled that generic pharmaceutical companies did not infringe Sanofi’s patents.

Hospira also said it expects to receive full U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval shortly for its generic version of Eloxatin.

Sanofi said it intended to appeal the decision by the U.S. District Court of New Jersey and was not modifying its 2009 guidance as a result of the court order.

Still, the judgment could result in an earlier-than-expected launch of generic Eloxatin in the United States, JP Morgan analyst Alexandra Hauber said in a research note on Thursday.

“Given a potential generic launch is only one year earlier than expected the potential effect on our (earnings) forecasts appears to be negligible (1-2 percent) ... we would use any substantial weakness as a buying opportunity,” the analyst said.

Eloxatin, known generically as oxaliplatin, had more than 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in net sales in 2008 for Sanofi, the world’s third largest drugmaker. ($1=0.7189 euro)

Reporting by Deena Beasley; Editing by Richard Chang, Leslie Gevirtz

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