How AbbVie protects Humira from biosimilars

Sandoz-Novartis some days ago announced it had reached an agreement with US-based AbbVie. As a result, the launch of Hyrimoz (adalimumab), the biosimilar to blockbuster Humira (adalimumab) was postponed to September 2023. Additionally, the agreement will allow Sandoz to start marketing Hyrimoz in Europe on October 16, 2018, in return for royalties on sales. In fact, this is only the last one of various agreements achieved by AbbVie in order to protect the best-sold drug in the world–Humira–from biosimilar competitors. Humira last year yielded revenues of $18.43bn, yet it will decrease to $14.19bn in 2024, according to consultancy Evaluate Pharma. AbbVie’s blockbuster is used for the treatment of psoriasis, rheumathoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease–a market estimated to be worth a minimum $40bn globally.  Humira’s fiercest competitor is probably Hulio, the biosimilar developed by Japan-based Kirin Biologics and licensed to Mylan. Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim has developed its own biosimilar and has sued AbbVie, despite having already been granted marketing approval in the EU.