AbbVie Accuses Alvotech of Stealing Humira Proprietary Information
AbbVie has filed a lawsuit alleging that Iceland-based biosimilar developer Alvotech recruited a former AbbVie employee to steal trade secrets in order to produce a biosimilar of AbbVie’s blockbuster arthritis drug Humira (adalimumab).
In the suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, AbbVie accused Alvotech of “an unlawful plot to surreptitiously take AbbVie’s confidential and proprietary trade secrets related to the confidential large-scale manufacturing process for Humira.” The complaint charges that Alvotech specifically schemed to target AbbVie “from the inside, through its personnel.”
The employee, Rongzan Ho, left AbbVie for Alvotech in the first quarter of 2018, at which point he began work on the Humira biosimilar, something Alvotech didn’t deny, the complaint says.
Humira is among the top-selling prescription drugs globally with net revenues for 2020 of $19.8 billion, with most sales coming from the U.S. But the clock is ticking on U.S. Humira exclusivity, which is set to run out in 2023.