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Federal Circuit Grants Stay against Momenta Injunction

By Dyanna Quizon, Esq. on February 03, 2012 3:06 PM

Setbacks abound for Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. after the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals stayed an injunction, pending appeal, against rival Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its partner Amphastar Pharmaceuticals.

Amphastar is seeking to sell a generic version of blood-thinner Lovenox, which Momenta owns two patents to. A federal judge ordered an injunction on the sale of the generic drug in October. However, with the Federal Circuit's decision to stay the injunction, Watson and Amphastar made plans to sell the generic drug immediately, according to Bloomberg.

Adding insult to injury, Momenta stock fell the most in four months, falling 21 percent to $15.05. Watson, on the other hand, rose 2.1 percent to $58.65, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Although the Federal Circuit did not give a reason for its decision to stay the injunction, it did state that the order "does not represent a final decision with respect to the merits of the pending appeal."

Further, Watson is taking a risk in immediately selling the generic Lovenox. If it later loses its case in court, it could be forced to reimburse Momenta and partner Sandoz Inc. three times the amount of any lost profits, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Michael Tong told Bloomberg.

Momenta had partnered with Sandoz to launch its own generic version of Lovenox under a royalty/profit-sharing agreement, according to The Journal.

And rest assured, Watson will not be taking the setbacks lightly.

"Any launch by Watson or Amphastar would be at risk and we continue to pursue our claims in the District Court," Momenta Chief Executive Officer Craig Wheeler said in a statement. "We have confidence in the strength of our patents."

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