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Abbott suing Impax Labs over generic TriCor

Impax Laboratories Inc. confirmed Friday it is challenging the patents on Abbott Laboratories' cholesterol drug TriCor, and that Abbott is suing Impax for patent infringement.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Impax Laboratories Inc. confirmed Friday it is challenging the patents on Abbott Laboratories' cholesterol drug TriCor, and that Abbott is suing Impax for patent infringement.

Impax, of Hayward, Calif., said it requested marketing approval for generic versions of 48 milligram and 145 milligram TriCor tablets. Abbott filed suit on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The lawsuit means the Food and Drug Administration cannot approve Impax's drug for 30 months, or until the litigation is resolved.

Annual sales of TriCor, or fenofibrate, are more than $1 billion. The patents protecting TriCor will start to expire in January 2011, opening the door to competition from low cost generics.

Impax's stock slipped 2 cents to close Friday at $8.88. Shares of Chicago-based Abbott lost 29 cents to $50.57.