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India's Ranbaxy gains; U.S. drug regulator approves generic version of Novartis drug

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India's Ranbaxy Laboratories rose 5.8 percent in early trading after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday it had approved the company's generic version of Novartis AG's blood pressure drug Diovan.

Investors say current market size of Diovan in the United States is $1.7 billion and Ranbaxy can generate revenue of over $200 million from generic Diovan sales as it enjoys 180 days exclusivity for the same.

Also, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, which in April agreed to buy Ranbaxy, rose 2.5 percent as well on hopes that drugs such as Diovan and Nexium would reduce its effective cost of acquiring Ranbaxy.

Sun Pharma on April 7 agreed to buy Ranbaxy in an all-share deal, betting it can fix the factory quality glitches that plagued Daiichi Sankyo Co and got Ranbaxy's India-made drugs barred from the United States.

(Reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi; Editing by Anand Basu)

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