Dr Reddy’s Laboratories' long-standing patent dispute with Europe’s AstraZeneca over a drug to treat heartburn may be resolved out of court following a similar settlement between the European drug maker and Israel’s Teva, feel market watchers.

Dr Reddy’s and AstraZeneca are at loggerheads over an alleged infringement of the latter’s heartburn drug Nexium and experts feel the settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals would help the Indian pharma company’s case.

AstraZeneca has filed a lawsuit against Dr Reddy’s alleging that the Indian company’s generic version of a heartburn drug infringes on its $4 billion drug, Nexium.

Angel Broking’s Vice-president and Research Specialist Pharmaceuticals Sarabjit Kour Nangra said there is a possibility of settlement between AstraZeneca and Dr Reddy’s.

“A Similar settlement out of court could be possible between the two companies,” Nangra told PTI.

According to Satish Kanteti, joint managing Director Zen Securities Limited, the Indian Pharma major has been making deals with MNCs for the past two years and may go for a settlement with AstraZeneca also.

“Even AstraZeneca may prefer a settlement considering the size of the market of Nexium. They may not risk the $4 billion Nexium market,” Kanteti said.

Last week AstraZeneca settled the patent dispute with Teva Pharmaceutical by granting a licence to enter the U.S. market in May 2014, when the first Nexium patent expires.

“There is a possibility of an out of court settlement between the two companies as a legal battle would take a long time. Perhaps a partnership option between the two companies cannot be ruled out,” a senior executive of a listed Pharma company here said.

“If Generic versions are inevitable then there is no point in fighting out in courts,” the executive opined.

In April 2008, AstraZeneca settled a similar dispute with Indian pharma major Ranbaxy Laboratories

More In: Companies | Business