By John Russell
Eli Lilly and Co. has hit a roadblock in its efforts to extend the life of its top-selling product, the schizophrenia drug Zyprexa, which loses its patent protection against generic rivals in three years.
The Food and Drug Administration rejected Lilly’s application to sell a once-a-month injectable version of Zyprexa, the Indianapolis drug maker said Thursday. The move surprised Wall Street, pushing Lilly’s stock down 90 cents, or nearly 2 percent, to close at $50.93.
Several analysts had expected the new form of Zyprexa would ring up robust sales in coming years to help offset the loss of daily Zyprexa, which had sales last year of $4.7 billion.
Catherine Arnold, a drug analyst at Credit Suisse in New York, had projected that long-acting Zyprexa would deliver $500 million a year in sales for Lilly starting in 2010…