(New throughout; adds NEW YORK dateline)
NEW YORK, June 12 U.S. regulators have granted
tentative approval to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's
TEVA.O generic form of Novartis AG's NOVN.VX blockbuster
high blood pressure drug Diovan, Teva said on Thursday.
Israel-based Teva said the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration had given it tentative approval to sell generic
tablet forms of the medicine, in dosages of 40 milligrams, 80
mg, 160 mg and 320 mg.
Final approval is not expected until Novartis patents on
Diovan expire in September 2012, or later if the branded
product obtains an additional period of marketing exclusivity,
Diovan had U.S. sales of $1.5 billion for the 12 months
ended March 30, 2008, Teva said.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; editing by John Wallace)