Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Appeals Court Rules Against Amarin in Vascepa Patent Dispute

By Cory Renauer - Sep 3, 2020 at 2:46PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Just one day after hearing arguments, the U.S. Court of Appeals delivered a ruling that Amarin shareholders did not want to hear.

Generic versions of a fish oil supplement proven to help reduce the risk of heart attacks took a big step toward pharmacy shelves on Thursday. A patent ruling that unravels Amarin's (AMRN 2.48%) market exclusivity for Vascepa has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

After hearing arguments on Wednesday, the three-judge panel didn't have any questions for the defendants, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY 0.98%) and Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMP.Y -7.19%). It looks like investors who saw the lack of questioning as a bad sign for Amarin's case were right. This morning the court upheld the previous ruling without issuing a formal opinion.

A doctor covers half his face in distress.

Image source: Getty Images.

Sales of Vascepa have grown since the fish oil supplement earned approval last December to help reduce the risk of a heart attack for millions of high-risk patients. And the positive trial results had analysts expecting annual sales of the capsules to exceed $5 billion at their peak.

Amarin reported $290 million in total revenue during the first half of 2020, but that wasn't enough to cover huge sales and marketing expenses associated with a potential launch of Vascepa in the EU next year.

Vascepa is the sole product for the company, which finished June with $550 million in cash after burning through $16 million in the first half of 2020. Generic versions of the supplement from Hikma Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories earned Food and Drug Administration approval in May and August, respectively. Both companies are working to launch them before the end of the year.

Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Hikma Pharmaceuticals. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Amarin Corporation plc Stock Quote
Amarin Corporation plc
$1.65 (2.48%) $0.04
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited Stock Quote
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Limited
$53.64 (0.98%) $0.52
Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC Stock Quote
Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC
$1,532.50 (-2.08%) $-32.50
Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC Stock Quote
Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC
$37.31 (-7.19%) $-2.89

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/13/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.