An unnamed company has filed an application to market a copycat version of Novartis’ multi-billion dollar hypertension drug, Diovan (valsartan).

According to the US Food and Drug Administration’s website, the firm in question submitted its Abbreviated New Drug Application on 28 December, and is seeking the green light for the 40mg, 80mg, 160mg and 320mg tablet doses of the product.

Diovan generated $3.1 billion dollars in 2004 sales, up 28% [[21/01/05a]], but is protected by two key US patents that are not due to expire until March 2012 and June 2017 respectively.