Pharma

Boehringer Ingelheim flies the white flag as last holdout surrenders in war over a $20B AbbVie gold mine

After battling it out in the courts as the last big holdout in the fight over AbbVie’s Humira patents, Boehringer Ingelheim has dropped neatly into the lineup for a 2023 biosimilar rollout.

The German outfit will now introduce its biosimilar on July 1, 2023, giving AbbVie a complete victory in its quest to maintain complete control of the world’s biggest drug franchise for more than 4 years. 

“AbbVie will make no payments of any form to BI,” the company says in a statement. Its shares surged 2% on the news.

AbbVie has now hammered out deals with a full slate of potential rivals for their blockbuster franchise, with all of them taking their place in line to hit the market in 2023. The schedule:

  • Amgen: January 31, 2023
  • Samsung Bioepis and Merck: June 30, 2023
  • Boehringer Ingelheim: July 1, 2023
  • Mylan: July 31, 2023
  • Sandoz: September 30, 2023

How big a deal is that?

Richard Gonzalez

AbbVie itself is well along to fielding successor drugs to Humira, as a slate of heavyweight contenders battle it out over a share of the anti-inflammatory market. The drug earned $20 billion last year, a high water mark that will now be challenged as copycats slice and dice the European market.

AbbVie has come under intense pressure for the money it’s been adding to its revenue from Humira — almost all of which is due to the rising US price rather than any increase in use. As a result, AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez has had to face public scorn from some lawmakers — a price he is quite willing to pay in protecting the cash cow.


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VP Oncology Biology
Skyhawk Therapeutics Waltham, MA
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Elektroki Boston, MA
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Elektroki Boston, MA
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