J&J sues Abbott for the fourth time this year over stent release

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Johnson & Johnson's Cordis unit has sued Abbott Laboratories of Abbott, Ill., for the fourth time this year over a patent for drug-eluting stents (DES) in an attempt to the keep the competitor’s product off the market.

Bloomberg News reported that the suit claims that Abbott's Xience would infringe a patent for using rapamycin or related medicines on the devices to prevent growth of scar tissue in arteries that have been cleared of fat. Rapamycin is used to coat J &J's Cypher stent, and Xience uses everolimus, which Johnson & Johnson said is a related drug.

“Upon its launch in the United States, the Xience V stent will compete directly with Cordis' Cypher stent, reducing Cordis' market share, impairing customer goodwill and causing irreparable harm to Cordis,” New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson wrote in the complaint, according to Bloomberg News.