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Monday, October 16, 2006

Genentech Faces Generics (DNA)(AMGN)(BRL)(MYL)(TEVA)

Genentech and Amgen may be facing something that has been reserved for anxiety at big pharma--generics. But, if the drugs are not chemically based, it is unclear who has the final authority to approve competiting versions. Sales of these biologic drugs are growing at 17% while sales of conventional drugs are moving up at only 5%.

Several key biologic drugs by Genentech will come off patent in the next few years. Ditto Amgen. These include big sellers like Epogen and Activase.

Genentech is going to fight the diputed legal ground. It would be crazy not to.

Generic drug makers like Barr Pharmaceuticals , Mylan Laboratories, and Teva Pharmaceutical want into the biologic generic market. But, with no clear path, it's into the court system for resolution.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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