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Shares of Indian pharmaceutical company Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. plunged Monday after a U.S. court ruled against it for infringement on Pfizer Inc.’s patents of cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor. On a day that Indian shares continued their record breaking run and hit 9,400 points, Ranbaxy shares fell as much as 8.5 percent at 357 rupees ($7.90) in intraday trade, and finally closed at a low of 5.9 percent at 367.35 rupees ($8). “I think the stock should go down further,” said Shahina Mukadam, head of research at IDBI Capital, an investment bank and consultancy. On Friday, a federal court in Delaware had ruled that Ranbaxy’s generic version of Lipitor infringed on two Pfizer patents of Lipitor, a top-selling drug worldwide. The ruling heads off the chance that Ranbaxy will be able to launch a cheaper version of Lipitor before Pfizer’s patents expire in 2010 and 2011. Lipitor was introduced in the United States in 1997 and its sales totaled $10.9 billion last year in the United States and more than 70 other countries. More than 18 million Americans have been prescribed the drug as a means of reducing elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood that can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular ailments. Ranbaxy has said in a statement it would appeal the U.S. court’s verdict and would continue the legal fight at the U.S. appeals court level. Ranbaxy’s shares fell even as the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark 30-stock index, the Sensex, soared 1.2 percent to close at an all-time high of 9,394.27 percent on sustained foreign fund buying. Foreign funds have pumped $9.52 billion into the Indian stock markets as of Dec. 16 compared with $8.51 billion for the whole of last year. Gainers included software companies Wipro Ltd., which rose 3.3 percent to 455.80 rupees ($10) and Infosys Technologies Ltd., which rose 1 percent to 3,017.60 rupees ($67). Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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