Novartis, Celgene launch patent lawsuit against Barr over Ritalin LA

Novartis and Celgene filed a patent infringement lawsuit in an effort to block Barr from launching a generic version of Ritalin LA (methylphenidate) extended-release capsules. The move comes after Barr notified the companies that the FDA had accepted the generic drugmaker's application to market its version of the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder treatment.

In the suit filed with the US District Court of New Jersey, Novartis and Celgene requested that the court prevent the approval of the generic product until their patents for the drug expire in 2015. In the 12 months ended August 2007, US sales of Ritalin LA totalled about $109 million, according to Barr.

Novartis licensed the rights for Ritalin LA from Celgene.

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