Second Loss for AbbVie in Humira Patent Case

Boehringer Ingelheim seeks to launch its biosimilar to Humira.

Boehringer Ingelheim won a case that challenged the patents on AbbVie’s top selling drug adalimumab (Humira), which treats patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

The US Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled in favor of Boehringer Ingelheim on Thursday in a case that challenged 5 claims for the ‘135 methods patent on adalimumab. The ‘135 patent covers the dosing and treatment frequency of the drug, according to FiercePharma.

The ruling follows a recent inter partes review (IPR) for Coherus BioSciences that challenged the same patent, reported FiercePharma. In an emailed statement, AbbVie told FiercePharma it plans to appeal both decisions.

Adalimumab accounts for more than 60% of AbbVie’s revenues, and the biosimilar threat to the drug is already apparent overseas, according to FiercePharma. Last month, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended approval for the adalimumab biosimilar Imraldi, according to FiercePharma.

Imraldi would be the second biosimilar of adalimumab, following the EMA’s approval of amjevita.

In a report to investors, UBS analyst Marc Goodman said AbbVie executives are predicting that next year, adalimumab will peak in sales overseas before biosimilars impact revenue, but is expected to decline by 15% per year through 2020, FiercePharma reported.

AbbVie is seeing success with its blood cancer drug Imbruvica, which is currently prescribed to 21% of patients which chronic lymphocytic leukemia as first-line treatment, FiercePharma noted. Sales for Imbruvica jumped 45% to $551 million in the first quarter, according to CEO Richard Gonzalez, as reported by FiercePharma.

However, sales for its hepatitis C combination drug Viekira Pak continue to struggle against Gilead’s blockbuster drug Harvoni, according to FiercePharma. Sales of Viekira Pak decreased 36% in the first quarter to $263 million, according to FiercePharma.