After months of squabbling over allegedly stolen trade secrets, AbbVie (ABBV) has settled litigation with a small company called Alvotech that sought to sell a biosimilar version of the Humira blockbuster medicine.
The settlement is only the latest such deal in which AbbVie has successfully delayed a would-be rival from marketing its own version of the rheumatoid arthritis treatment, which generated $17.3 billion in U.S. sales last year. As in the settlements AbbVie reached with several other drug makers, Alvotech cannot market its version until next year — in this case, no sooner than July 2023.
The huge sales reflect AbbVie’s lock on the U.S. market, where biosimilar versions of Humira have been forestalled due to what critics argue is unfair gaming of the patent system.
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