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U.S. top court denies Teva stay in Copaxone patent fight

WASHINGTON, April 18 (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday denied a request by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd that would have prevented a lower court ruling from going into effect while the court considers an appeal in a patent fight over Teva's top-selling multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

The decision could help pave the way for generic competitors to go on the market as soon as next month.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Sandra Maler)