Investors might need a little less of AstraZeneca's
The deal resembles the one AstraZeneca struck with Ranbaxy in 2008, giving Ranbaxy and Teva the right to launch generic versions of Nexium in the U.S. in May 2014, when the first patent on the drug expires. In exchange for not enforcing other patents, AstraZeneca doesn't have to worry about losing a patent challenge in court.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories
Nexium is extremely important to AstraZeneca and, to a lesser extent, Merck
Unfortunately, investors may have to break out the Nexium again shortly. AstraZeneca has a court case over its patents on cholesterol drug Crestor next month. Crestor is another biggie, coming in third on AstraZeneca's list of top drugs. Crestor's sales are only slightly behind those of Nexium and Seroquel, and it's on pace to catch them shortly, with year-over-year growth of 24% so far this year.
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Novartis is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Procter & Gamble is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection in which the Fool owns shares. The Fool's disclosure policy should make you feel a little better inside.