Lipocine drops after Clarus provides view on patent case against company
Shares of Lipocine (LPCN), an oral drug delivery technology company, are dropping after Clarus Therapeutics commented on its patent infringement lawsuit against Lipocine. WHAT'S NEW: On October 7, Lipocine announced that U.S. District Court in Delaware granted its motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Clarus Therapeutics. Clarus claimed that LPCN 1021 infringed Clarus' patent. LPCN 1021 is Lipocine's oral testosterone product candidate for testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, in adult males for conditions associated with a deficiency or absence of endogenous testosterone, also known as hypogonadism. "We are pleased that the court has dismissed this lawsuit. Going forward, we will continue to aggressively defend our intellectual property," said Dr. Mahesh Patel, President and CEO of Lipocine. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Before the opening of trading this morning, Clarus Therapeutics commented on the prior ruling, noting that the court found that there was not an immediate reason to hear the case given Lipocine's failure to receive FDA market approval for LPCN 1021. Importantly, the decision was made without ruling on the validity of Clarus's U.S. Patent 8,828,428 and other merits of the case. Clarus CEO Dr. Robert Dudley said, "We remain strong in our belief that LPCN 1021 infringes Clarus's '428 patent and it is particularly noteworthy that the court did not rule on this central fact. If LPCN 1021 were to be approved by the FDA, our plan would be to vigorously pursue all avenues to keep Lipocine's LPCN 1021 from entering the market and protect the intellectual property, accompanying financial investment and years of work we have invested in JATENZO -- our oral TRT product." ANALYST VIEWS: Earlier this week, Canaccord analyst John Newman raised his price target on Lipocine to $15 from $6 as he said at the time that believes its oral testosterone product has better safety and convenience versus currently marketed gels and injectables. The analyst sees rapid market share gains and a 20% market share by 2024. Newman reiterated his Buy rating on Lipocine shares. Additionally, on October 7 H.C. Wainwright analyst Corey Davis started Lipocine with a Buy rating and $25 price target. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Lipocine are lower by 35c, or 7.6%, to $4.25 in afternoon trading.