AstraZeneca files suit against Ranbaxy to block generic version of Nexium

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AstraZeneca has filed a lawsuit against Ranbaxy Laboratories in an attempt to stop the Indian drug maker from launching a copycat version of its top-selling medicine Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium delayed-release capsules), Reuters reported today.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, automatically bars the FDA from approving Ranbaxy's application for 30 months or until an adverse court decision.
"AstraZeneca has full confidence in and will continue vigorously to defend and enforce its intellectual property rights protecting Nexium," the firm said in a statement.
Nexium is AstraZeneca's top-seller, bringing in $3.8 billion in revenue in 2004.
Ranbaxy wants to produce cheap forms of Nexium in 20-and 40-milligram capsule forms.
AstraZeneca is already fighting a challenge to Nexium from Indian generic drug maker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.
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