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Merck, Pfizer Sue Mylan to Block Proposed Copy of AzaSite

Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc. sued generic drugmaker Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. to block it from selling a copy of AzaSite, an antibiotic eye solution for fighting bacterial conjunctivitis.

Mylan told Pfizer, Merck and InSite Vision Inc. on May 1 that it sought U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell a generic version of AzaSite, according to a lawsuit filed June 14 in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey. The complaint asks a judge to prevent Mylan from entering the market before the patents expire. One ends in 2018, and the other three expire in March 2019, according to the FDA’s website.

Pfizer, the world’s largest drugmaker, has a license with InSite to sell AzaSite, and InSite has a marketing agreement with Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc., a unit of Merck. Pfizer is based in New York, and Merck is based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.

Michael Laffin, a spokesman for Canonsburg, Pennsylvania-based Mylan, didn’t immediately return an e-mail and a call seeking comment on the lawsuit.

The case is InSite Vision v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Trenton).

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