Forest buys rights to Bystolic from J&J

Drug had annual sales of $391 million

NEW YORK — Forest Labs has bought rights to a drug used for high blood pressure that it had marketed with a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, thus eliminating the need to pay future royalties.

Forest announced Monday that it had bought all U.S. and Canadian intellectual property related to Bystolic (nebivolol) for $357 million from Janssen Pharmaceutica NV on Friday.

"We are pleased with the success of Bystolic, and we look forward to the product's continued growth," Forest chairman and CEO Howard Solomon said. "Though it is the only branded beta-blocker in the U.S. market, Bystolic now represents over 4% of this very large class, and it continues to grow."

Earlier last month, Forest and Janssen filed suit against several generic drug makers that had challenged a patent on Bystolic that expires in December 2021 by filing with the Food and Drug Administration for approval of their own versions of the drug.

The drug had sales of $391 million during the 12-month period ended in January, according to IMS Health.

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