Apotex Seeks Ruling on Generic Blood-Pressure Drug

Apotex Inc. asked a judge to rule that its plan to market a generic version of the blood-pressure medicine Benicar won’t infringe patent rights held by drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co. or its American unit.

In a petition filed today in federal court in Chicago, closely held Apotex said a finding of non-infringement on one of two relevant patents will let it compete sooner with Mylan Inc., the maker of generic drugs that also intends to sell a version of the medication.

Mylan, which lost a challenge to the other patent in 2010, has exclusive rights to sell its version of the drug for at least 180 days after that patent expires because it was the first to seek the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s permission to do so.

Absent a ruling in its favor on a patent it claims Daiichi Sankyo let lapse in 2009, it will be deprived of sales while the public is deprived of its competition with Mylan, Toronto-based Apotex said.

Mylan is based in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Daiichi Sankyo is based in Tokyo. Its U.S. unit and co-defendant, Daiichi Sankyo Inc., is based in Parsippany, New Jersey.

The case is Apotex Inc. v. Daiichi Sankyo, 12-cv-9295, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).

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