Merck, Teva near deal on generic Vytorin

Merck is close to resolving a patent dispute over its cholesterol combo drug Vytorin, court documents show. As Bloomberg reports, the company and its would-be generic rival Teva Pharmaceutical Industries requested time to "finalize settlement" of two patent lawsuits now pending in a New Jersey court.

After Teva filed for FDA approval for its copycat form of Vytorin in March of last year, Merck sued the generics giant, citing patents that are set to expire in 2014 and 2017. Merck spokesman Ron Rogers told Bloomberg the May 3 court filing about a potential settlement "speaks for itself."

While not as big a seller as it once was, Vytorin remains a blockbuster, with $480 million in global sales for the first quarter, including $247 million in the U.S. Mylan has also asked the FDA to approve a generic version of the cholesterol drug; that suit remains pending. Another patent infringement suit against Impax Laboratories that was filed last August also is pending.

- get the Bloomberg news