Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (>> Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) said it received a favorable court ruling over a patent dispute with Allergan Inc. (AGN) and its business partners regarding Watson's plans for a generic version of an overactive bladder medication.
Allergan and its partners in 2009 sued Watson and its business partners, alleging infringement of patents related to Allergan's Sanctura XR drug.
Watson said Tuesday a U.S. District Court in Delaware found several Sanctura XR patents invalid, benefiting Watson and allowing it to potentially move forward with its abbreviated new drug application for generic version of the drug, which is pending with the Food and Drug Administration.
An Allergan representative wasn't immediately available for comment.
Watson has seen strong sales of its generics as health-care companies and consumers try to reduce spending on health-related products and services. Watson is trying to expand its brand-name drug business, though it recently hit a regulatory setback with a proposed new drug to prevent premature births.
The company benefited from its introduction of authorized generic versions of Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) Concerta treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in May, as well as Pfizer's (PFE) Lipitor cholesterol-lowering drug in November.
Watson in February said its fourth-quarter profit surged as the introduction of generic Lipitor and other products boosted sales.
Watson's shares closed Tuesday at $66.96 and were down 6 cents after hours. Allergan's shares closed at $95.27 and were off 10 cents after hours.
-By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; firstname.lastname@example.org