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Two years ago, a manufacturing team leader at AbbVie (ABBV) took a similar job at an aspiring rival that planned to make a biosimilar version of Humira, its best-selling product. But before leaving, the employee allegedly transferred a raft of confidential information about the steps needed to produce the blockbuster medicine, according to a lawsuit filed by AbbVie in a federal court.

In its lawsuit, AbbVie contended that a company based in Iceland known as Alvotech recruited Rongzan Ho in its quest to jumpstart its entry into the market for biosimilar versions of Humira. The biologic treatment is widely prescribed to combat rheumatoid arthritis, among other ailments, and racked up nearly $20 billion in worldwide sales that year, including $13.7 billion in the U.S.

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