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GSK, Sanofi, Haleon jump after win in Zantac product liability case

GSK Plc (NYSE:GSK) rose 7.9% and Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) gained 8.1% after winning in a Zantac product liability lawsuit. GSK consumer spinofff Haleon (NYSE:HLN) advanced 7.3%.

The companies were granted summary judgement by federal judge in Florida in multi district litigation related to heartburn relief medication Zantac, according a 341 page court ruling.

Zantac was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 2020 amid concerns over the unacceptable levels of potential human carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine. The users of the drug have filed thousands of lawsuits over its carcinogenic effects against drugmakers, including Sanofi (SNY) and GSK (GSK).

"Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 requires a court to grant summary judgment for a moving party when the party proves that there is no genuine dispute of material fact and that the party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law," U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg wrote in the opinion.

"As a result, if the plaintiff does not have this evidence, there is no genuine dispute of material fact, and the defendant is entitled to judgement as a matter of law," Rosenberg added .

Thousands of Zantac users have filed lawsuits over its carcinogenic effects, implicating drugmakers such as GSK (GSK), Sanofi (SNY), Pfizer (PFE), Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), Perrigo (PRGO), and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY).

In September GSK (GSK) was upgraded to neutral from underperform at Credit Suisse, with the analyst noting that Zantac litigation is "likely to remain a concern for some time" as legal proceedings will likely take years to resolve.

Pfizer (PFE), which has also been involved with litigation related to Zantac, in August highlighted the withdrawal of the drug in 2019 and 2020 did not involve any of its products. Pfizer marketed the product between 1998 and 2006.

A Citi analyst in August said that a potential settlement between the drugmakers over Zantac would likely be limited to $10 billion.