Shares in a global healthcare company Bausch Health Companies Inc BHC tumbled Thursday after a Delaware federal judge issued an oral order over patents related to the company’s Xifaxan drug.
What happened: Judge Richard Andrews of the US District Court for the District of Delaware ruled Thursday that some patent claims involving xifaxan are invalid under a Bloomberg legal report.
Xifaxan is used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. The verdict sets the stage for Norwich Pharmaceuticals’ proposed generic version of the drug.
“The management of Alvogen, Norwich’s parent company, is very pleased with the District Court’s decision, which removes a significant hurdle in the path to an affordable alternative for patients taking Xifaxan for Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” said Alvogen’s CEO Lisa Graver said Bloomberg Law.
After the order, JPMorgan has downgraded Bausch to Neutral from Overweight.
“If the court rules as the Oral Order suggests, it would present a near-worst-case scenario for BHC and likely allow for generic competition for xifaxan in the late 2024-2025 timeframe,” the analyst firm wrote in a statement the customer .
Though JPMorgan noted that Bausch could still win on appeal, the company believes the downside risk outweighs the potential upside.
BCH Price Action: Bausch Health stock was halted multiple times before eventually being halved.
The stock fell 50.3% to $4.32, according to Thursday afternoon data Gasoline Pro.
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