- Hot Pursuit
Natco Pharma jumps on reports it seeks Pfizer's nod for drug generic
Natco Pharma rose 2.5% at Rs 326.50 at 10:07 IST on BSE on reports the company has asked permission from Pfizer Inc. to make and sell copies of the US company's HIV medicine in India.
Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was down 61.39 points, or 0.30%, to 20,437.33.
On BSE, 30,000 shares were traded in the counter as against an average daily volume of 91,948 shares in the past one quarter.
The stock hit a high of Rs 329.90 and a low of Rs 321.05 so far during the day. The stock had hit a record high of Rs 357.90 on 2 December 2010 and a 52-week low of Rs 107.55 on 29 January 2010.
The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 4 January 2011, falling 5.18% compared with the Sensex's 2.66% rise. The scrip had, however, outperformed the market in past one quarter, spurting 10.82% as against 0.11% rise in the Sensex.
The small-cap pharmaceutical company has an equity capital of Rs 28.15 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.
According to reports, Natco had sent a notice to the US drugmaker in November 2010 saying Pfizer's drug was too expensive for HIV patients in India, and that Natco can sell its own product at about one-fifth the price. This is the first step in what is known in pharma industry as Compulsory Licensing (CL), a provision that allows generic drugmakers to make and sell low-cost version of a patented drug under certain conditions. Natco is the first company to initiate the process for CL in India.
Pfizer has time till May 2011 to reply. If it does not allow Natco to make cheap drugs, the Indian pharma company can approach the government for CL, that will allow it to sell a low priced version of the drug after paying royalty to Pfizer. As per reports, India has an estimated 2.3 million people living with HIV.
On a consolidated basis, Natco Pharma's net profit rose 10.8% to Rs 14.82 crore on 12% increase in net sales to Rs 120.05 crore in Q2 September 2010 over Q2 September 2009.
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