NEW YORK -- A lawyer for the Canadian maker of a generic version of blood thinner Plavix yesterday urged a judge to clear the way for its sale, saying Plavix was based on an invalid patent.
The lawyer, Robert Breisblatt, arguing on behalf of Apotex Inc., told US District Judge Sidney H. Stein he should reverse his August decision to block sales of the generic.
During the summer, Stein heard limited evidence before he granted a request by Sanofi-Aventis, the holder of a patent on Plavix, to stop production of the generic drug, which had gained the majority of market share after its launch just three weeks before Stein stopped sales.
Breisblatt said he believed Stein would allow sales to resume once he had heard from all the witnesses and reviewed all the evidence that will be presented during the next month.
Breisblatt said the findings relied upon in the patent on which Plavix was based were so obvious that it was following a "neon highway" to get there.
Sanofi-Aventis, which is based in France, sells Plavix in the United States through its US partner, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Plavix, used by 48 million Americans, is Bristol-Myers' best-selling product.