It's official: Sanofi ($SNY) has discontinued its authorized generic version of the Lovenox blood thinner. Apparently, the company thinks it can make more money selling the branded med only, since Amphastar has failed to get its generic version to market. Without Amphastar's competition, branded Lovenox only faces one rival: M-Enox, sold by Momenta Pharmaceuticals ($MNTA) and its partner Sandoz.
About a month ago, Momenta and Sandoz won an injunction against Amphastar, which had FDA approval for its Lovenox copy in hand, and Watson Pharmaceuticals ($WPI), which had agreed to market the product. A U.S. judge blocked the Amphastar/Watson version until the resolution of patent litigation with Momenta and Sandoz.
That ruling was an obvious and direct win for Momenta and Sandoz, but it also means Sanofi only has to contend with M-Enox. As long as only one generic Lovenox is on the market, prices of both versions can remain much higher than they would with more competition.
Incidentally, Momenta's agreement with Sandoz stipulates revenue-sharing levels according to the amount of competition for the drug. As long as M-Enox was the only marketed generic, Momenta got 45% of the profits, International Business Times reports. When Sanofi launched its authorized generic, the profit-sharing changed to a stair-step arrangement, with the 45% share kicking in after $135 million in profits are booked.
- read the International Business Times story