Pharmaceutical pioneer Indivior was given a welcome shot in the arm yesterday after a US court banned one of its competitors from selling its cheaper generic products.
Indivior had become embroiled in a legal row with Indian firm Dr Reddy’s Laboratories when it began manufacturing a copycat version of Indivior’s film-format drug, used to treat addiction to opioids such as heroin.
The US court had already granted Indivior a temporary restraining order, meaning that Dr Reddy’s was banned from selling, offering or importing its product.
But the latest decision means this has been extended until the court decides whether to formally grant a patent to Indivior’s drug.
Legal battle: Indian firm Dr Reddy’s Laboratories began manufacturing a copycat version of Indivior’s film-format drug Suboxone (pictured), used to treat addiction to opioids
Shaun Thaxter, Indivior’s chief executive, said: ‘Protecting the integrity of our intellectual property is fundamental to our ability to deliver our vision, that all patients around the world have access to evidence-based treatment for addiction and its co-occurring disorders.’
The court added that Indivior must still set aside an as-yet undecided amount to compensate Dr Reddy’s in case the patent is not granted, for the loss the Indian company will suffer from the ban.
Indivior claimed last week that its 2018 revenue would take at least a £19m hit from the market share Dr Reddy’s grabbed before the ban came into force.
The announcement wiped more than £800million off Indivior’s market value as its shares sank by 29.5 per cent.
Stock Watch – Iofina
Iofina, the only AIM-listed producer of iodine, climbed yesterday on news that its production had increased 10.8 per cent on last year.
Its chemicals are used in disinfectants, animal health and odour control and in pharma and agricultural processes.
In the first half of this year it has produced 264.1 metric tons of crystalline iodine.
Iofina plans to produce between 575 and 605 metric tons over the full year.
Shares were up 5.1 per cent, or 0.8p, to 16.35p.
But it went some way to making that back yesterday as it climbed by 16.9 per cent, or 49.3p, to 340.5p.
AIM-listed Integumen, which creates products to improve the appearance of skin, hair and nails, had less luck as its shares crashed 19.9 per cent, or 0.17p, to 0.68p.
It said a ‘slower than anticipated growth in sales’ had contributed to a £9.5million operating loss, in a year which has seen it acquire men’s brand Stoer Skincare and agree to buy a 9.3 per cent stake in biodegradable plastics company Cellulac.
There was less drama in the blue-chip FTSE 100, which ended the day down 0.8 per cent, or 61.42 points, at 7600.45.
Investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown weighed on the index after Britain’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, said in a study that it was considering banning exit fees charged to customers.
Hargreaves Lansdown’s chief executive Chris Hill said: ‘We welcome the work the FCA is doing in this area and the study recognises the key role that investment platform services play in helping people save and invest with confidence.’
After a sharp fall as markets opened, it recovered to end the day down 1.8 per cent, or 38p, at 2019p.
Transport firm Go-Ahead, the largest operator of London bus services and the company behind Southeastern rail and Govia Thameslink Railway, was driven down by a note from analysts at HSBC.
They slashed Go-Ahead’s target price from 2030p to 1700p, downgrading their recommendation to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ due to rail franchise risks and a more cautious outlook on buses.
Go-Ahead’s shares fell by 9.2 per cent, or 141p, to 1388p.
High Street department store chain Debenhams was also under pressure, following reports that some credit insurers had tightened their terms for it suppliers.
Suppliers use credit insurers to cover the risk that Debenhams might not pay them – a scenario which the insurers seem to believe is becoming more likely.
Debenhams, which is in the middle of a turnaround plan, had to assure investors and other stakeholders that its balance sheet and cash position were ‘healthy’. But shares still slipped 4.8 per cent, or 0.71p, to 14p.