Sanofi-Aventis says that a US district court in New York has agreed to postpone a key patent litigation lawsuit centred on its top-selling clot busting agent, Plavix (clopidogrel), by more than one month.

In a statement, the French company said that the court had pushed back the date for the pre-trial order from April 8 to May 13 at the request of Sanofi-Aventis and the generic drugmakers involved – Apotex and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

Apotex and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories first launched their challenges to the Plavix patent back in 2002 [[04/04/02b]]. Sanofi-Aventis claims that the central patent covering the compound in this market is not set to expire until 2011 and is clearly keen to defend the drug, which brought in 2004 sales well in excess of 1.5 billion euros.