Generics company, Alpharma, says it expects a court decision shortly in a spat with Ivax, in which the latter company is questioning Alpharma’s right to 180 days of marketing exclusivity for a copycat version of Pfizer’s blockbuster epilepsy drug, Neurontin (gabapentin).

Ivax filed an appeal with a US appeals court late last year, seeking to reverse an earlier court decision upholding Alpharma’s right to exclusivity.

Alpharma notes that the current briefing schedule for this appeal concludes in early February, and it expects a decision “within a reasonable period” following that time. However, it cautions that a decision in Ivax’ favour could “materially impact the company’s profitability in 2005.”