Wockhardt launches generic version of ulcer drug `Protonix' in US

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology major Wockhardt Ltd has announced the launch of Pantoprazole, the generic version of Protonix tablets marketed by Pfizer Inc, in the US market.

Wockhardt has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for marketing 20mg and 40 mg Pantoprazole Delayed Release tablets of Pantoprazole, the generic versions of Protonix tablets, in the US, Wockhardt said in a release.

The drug, marketed in the US by Pfizer, is used for the treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers and hyperacidity. The patent for the product expired on 19 January 2011.

The product that belongs to the class of Prolon Pump Inhibitors, has a market of about $2 billion in the US. The delayed release tablet requires special technology and manufacturing capacity, Wockhardt said in a release.
"This is yet another product that Wockhardt has been able to launch on the date of patent expiry," said Wockhardt chairman Habil Khorakiwala. "The ability to launch products on the date of patent expiry is a critical requirement to create maximum value and, over the years, Wockhardt has been able to reinforce the capability on several occasions," he added.

Wockhardt said it has a growing share of the US market for all of its products, especially since it happens to be an early entrant in the case of several drugs.

The tablets will be manufactured at the US FDA certified formulation plant at Waluj, in Aurangabad while the Pantazapole sodium API will be manufactured at the API plant at Ankleshwar, in Gujarat.

Wockhardt said the tablets were made inhouse by the company.