AbbVie sues Amgen for patent infringement on Humira: 5 things to know

Pharmaceutical company AbbVie filed a patent-infringement lawsuit Thursday against Amgen over a lower-priced copy of AbbVie's top-selling anti-inflammatory drug Humira, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Delaware, argues Amgen's replica of Humira violates many of the drug's patents. AbbVie is seeking to block sales of Amgen's version of the drug if it gains approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Here are five more things to know about the lawsuit, according to The Wall Street Journal.

1. AbbVie alleges the law "does not give Amgen license to infringe AbbVie's patents." Although AbbVie's current lawsuit focuses on 10 patents, the company has threatened further patent-infringement suits against Amgen because it claims 61 patents are being violated.

2. Several drug companies are developing biosimilar versions of Humira. Amgen currently sells a brand-name rival called Enbrel.

3. AbbVie has introduced new patents and taken other steps to delay the introduction of copies of Humira, telling analysts it doesn't expect any copies to hit the market before 2022. Humira accounts for the majority — 60 percent — of AbbVie's revenue.

4. The FDA has not yet approved Amgen's biosimilar Humira, but the decision will come soon. A panel of experts recommended approval of the drug last month.

5. Humira is a top-selling drug in the U.S. In 2015, it yielded $8.4 billion in sales. Its list price is $53,260 per year.

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