Lundbeck and partner Forest Laboratories have settled a patent dispute with India’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries and its US subsidiary Caraco regarding the blockbuster antidepressant Lexapro.

Under the terms of the settlement, Caraco will be granted licences for any of the patents related to Lexapro (escitalopram) with respect to the marketing of a copycat version of the product "as of the date that any third party generic that has properly received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration enters the market, other than an authorised generic or a first filer." Forest markets Lexapro in the US under licence from Lundbeck, and the drug is scheduled to lose exclusivity in the country in 2012.

Additionally, Caraco will make an advance payment to Forest in exchange for taking over the marketing and sale of several unspecified products from Forest’s Inwood subsidiary. Forest and Lundbeck also noted that they will reimburse Caraco some of the latter’s legal costs in connection with the litigation.

The deal is subject to approval from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.