An unnamed drug maker has applied for US regulatory approval to sell a generic version of Allergan Inc’s eyelash-enhancing drug Latisse before its patent protection expires.

Latisse, approved in late 2008, has market exclusivity until late 2011. Last year it had sales of $73.3 million. But the US, the FDA disclosed last week that a company filed an application in May to market a copycat version by challenging Allergan’s patent protection for the drug. The FDA didn’t identify the applicant of the generic drug.

An Allergan spokeswoman acknowledged the FDA filing but couldn’t comment further because the Irvine, Calif, company hasn’t officially been notified by the generic challenger.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]