Alza Corp. and Marion Merrell Dow Inc. said late Friday thatthe U.S. District Court in San Francisco indicated it will ruletoday on a motion by Elan Corp. plc and American Cyanamid Co.for a preliminary injunction to block the sale of Nicodermtransdermal nicotine patch.

Elan of Athlone, Ireland, and Cyanamid last month sued Alzaand MMD for allegedly infringing U.S. patent No. 4,943,435. Thecourt earlier issued a temporary restraining order to delay theintroduction of Nicoderm pending a decision on the injunction.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Alza and marketing partner MMD havealso been sued by Ciba-Geigy Corp.

Alza shares (AMEX:AZA) closed up 63 cents at $88 prior to theannouncement.

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