Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Apotex Asks Federal Circuit to Lift Ban

Apotex Inc. has asked a federal appeals court to lift a ban on sales of generic versions of the blood-thinning drug Plavix in the US. Apotex attorney told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that a ban imposed by a judge should be overturned because the patent is invalid and because Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers could be reimbursed anyway if they win at trial in January, 2007. Apotex further added that the key ingredient in Plavix, clopidogrel bisulphate, is covered by a patent that has already expired and the 2011 patent is invalid because it’s an obvious variation on the earlier patent. In response, Sanofi attorney argued that Apotex was “making an after-the-fact, hindsight argument.” He argued that after years of testing various chemical compounds, Sanofi researchers produced “dramatically different” results that expected. He further added why his clients would “spend seven years and millions of dollars” if clopidogrel bisulfate is “obvious.”

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