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Morepen Laboratories has surged 18% to Rs 29.60, also its 52-week high on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), after the pharmaceutical company announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has cleared anti-asthmatic drug, Montelukast Sodium. This gives Morepen an entry into the Rs 2,000 crore (approx. $ 300 million) US market for Montelukast. The first commercial orders for the bulk drug are expected in Q2 of FY2018-19, it added. Montelukast (Singulair of Merck) is the largest selling anti-asthmatic drug in the world and is a major contributor to Morepen’s API business. Montelukast’s global market is estimated at about Rs 13,000 crore (approx $ 2 billion) out of which US market alone is Rs 2,000 crore.
The patent for Montelukast has expired in all the market worldwide. In US, the product patent got expired in 2012 and subsequently process patent expired in 2014, the company said. At 11:01 AM; the stock was trading 14% higher at Rs 28.90 on NSE as compared to a marginal 0.02% rise in the Nifty 50 index. The trading volumes on the counter jumped more than doubled with a combined 13 million shares changed hands on the NSE and BSE so far.