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Teva wins FDA tentative nod for generic version of anti-anthrax drug Cipro

Annual U.S. sales of patented Bayer drug are estimated at $950 million

Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) said on Wednesday that it has received tentative approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market generic versions of the antibiotic Cipro, patented by the German drugmaker Bayer (European markets:BAYG).

The FDA okay is for Ciprofloxacin in 250 milligram, 500 milligram and 750 milligram tablets. Cipro is effective against anthrax and other infections. Estimated U.S. sales of the original medication are about $900 million a year.

Final approval will come into force when Bayer's patent expires at year-end 2003. Teva will be marketing the drug in the United States through its subsidiary Novopharm.

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