Pfizer IncPfizer Inc announced today that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has issued a "Notice of Allowance" accepting the company's application to correct the technical defect in the '995 enantiomer patent for atorvastatin calcium, the salt form of atorvastatin sold as Lipitor.

The company noted that certain formalities must be completed before the reissue patent will be granted. The reissued patent will have the same force and effect as the original '995 patent and the same June 2011 expiration date (including the six-month pediatric exclusivity period).

"This is a very positive development, not just for Pfizer but for all those who believe that defending intellectual property is vital to supporting the enormous investments required to develop life-saving new medicines," said Raymond F. Kerins, Jr., vice president, Worldwide Communications, Pfizer. "We have said all along that we had strong arguments for securing the reissue of the patent, and after a vigorous and thorough examination, the Patent Office agreed with this conclusion."

More information regarding Lipitor can be found at