WASHINGTON May 11 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court upheld a lower court ruling on Friday that blocked U.S. sales of two copycat versions of the Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) antipsychotic drug Risperdal until a J&J patent expires at the end of 2007.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed rulings by a lower court judge in New Jersey that upheld the validity of a key J&J patent on the drug and delayed the effective date of a tentative approval given to Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. , a unit of Mylan Laboratories Inc. MYL.N to market its generic Risperdal.
Risperdal generated sales of about $3 billion in 2005.
A lawsuit filed by J&J unit Janssen LP in December 2003 alleged Mylan and India's Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. (REDY.BO) infringed the Risperdal patent.
Risperdal was approved in 1993 and is marketed as a treatment for schizophrenia, mania associated with manic depression and irritability associated with autism in children and adolescents.