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Actavis, Inc. recently said that the US District Court for the District of New Jersey has granted AstraZeneca’s motion to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing Actavis from selling its generic version of AstraZeneca's Pulmicort Respules.

The TRO comes a few days after the court had ruled that Actavis’ generic version of Pulmicort Respules (0.25, 0.5 and 1 mg) does not infringe US Patent No. 7,524,834. The court also held that US Patent No. 6,598,603 was invalid.

The TRO prevents Actavis from distributing its generic version of Pulmicort Respules (0.25 and 0.5 mg) until Apr 12, 2013 so as to provide AstraZeneca with the chance to seek injunctive relief in the Court of Appeals.

Our Take

The launch of a generic version of Pulmicort Repsules, which is approved for the controlling and prevention of asthma symptoms in children aged 12 months to 8 years, would be a major boost for Actavis. Total branded and generic sales of Pulmicort Repsules in the US were $1.2 billion during the 12 months ended Jan 31, 2013. Teva currently markets the generic version of Pulmicort Respules under an agreement with AstraZeneca. The entry of additional generic competition in the market would also have an impact on Teva’s top and bottom line.

Actavis intends to provide updated guidance on May 2 when the company is slated to announce its first quarter 2013 earnings.

Actavis currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While AstraZeneca and Teva are also Zacks Rank #3 stocks, Mylan currently looks attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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