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Samsung Bioepis wins patent dispute over ‘Humira’

Posted March. 06, 2017 07:09,   

Updated March. 06, 2017 13:40


Samsung Bioepis has won a patent dispute over "Humira," a rheumatism and arthritis treatment, which the Korea-based company filed against the U.K.-based global pharmaceutical company AbbVie. As a result, Samsung Bioepis, which is developing a biosimilar product of AbbVie’s Humira, has a positive outlook for its sales in Europe.

According to Samsung Bioepis on Sunday, the U.K. court ruled on Friday that the dosing method for rheumatism, arthritis and psoriasis diseases of AbbVie’s Humira, for which patent was applied, is not patentable.

AbbVie’s rheumatism and arthritis treatment is one of the best selling drugs in the world. The drug’s overall sales in 2015 amounted to about 14 billion U.S. dollars, which accounted for 61 percent of AbbVie’s total sales revenue.

The substance patent for Humira is set to expire in December this year and October 2018 in the U.S. and Europe, respectively. However, AbbVie applied for a new form of patent to block biosimilar companies including Samsung Bioepis from entering the market. AbbVie has filed two patents for Humira’s dosing methods for diseases such as rheumatism, arthritis and psoriasis, and extended the patent expiry periods to 2022 and 2023, respectively.

In March last year, Samsung Bioepis filed a patent suit in collaboration with its European commercialization partner, Biogen. In order for a biosimilar product to be sold, the patent for the original drug should have expired or been nullified.

“We welcome the court’s judgment. At Samsung Bioepis, we remain committed to driving positive change in the healthcare system through the development of affordable, high-quality biosimilars.”

Hyoun-Soo Kim kimhs@donga.com