Alvotech Hf seeks to invalidate dozens of patents held by AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) for an arthritis drug – Humira, and approached the court in the US for help.
AbbVie generates sales of over $75 billion
According to the lawsuit filed by Alvotech, AbbVie obtained several patents with dubious validity for Humira. The company alleges the patent for Humira expired in 2016. Alvotech says AbbVie is using its patents to crush the competition and maintain a monopoly. AbbVie won 130 patents for Humira through dubious means. Some of them are valid until 2034.
The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform will quiz Richard Gonzalez, CEO of AbbVie, on its pricing mechanisms next week.
AbbVie already generated robust revenues of over $75 billion by selling Humira. However, its revenues dropped in the past two years in the overseas markets. It is on the backdrop of increased competition from biosimilar products in Europe.
Alvotech seeks FDA approval for a biosimilar version
Alvotech approached FDA to get support for its biosimilar version of Humira called AVT02. In a filing to the US District Court for the EDV (Eastern District of Virginia), AbbVie says Alvotech infringed 62 patents for its AVT02.
Alvotech says AbbVie patented inventions such as a method to treat ankylosing spondylitis. AbbVie also patented the drug manufacturing process, which was developed by other companies several years before. According to Alvotech, AbbVie has not invented any of these processes and obtained patents to keep away the low-cost versions of drugs (biosimilar) from the market.
AbbVie files complaints
Alvotech also said AbbVie filed two complaints against it using dubious pretensions. AbbVie said in March 2021 that Alvotech hired its former employee in 2018 to steal the manufacturing process. However, Alvotech said it developed this manufacturing process several years before.
AbbVie also filed a lawsuit against Alvotech for patent infringement of its biosimilar. However, it wrongly mentioned Alvotech Hf, its parent company, in place of Alvotech USA. Alvotech contends that AbbVie does not have jurisdiction to file a complaint against it in the Northern District of Illinois.
Alvotech said AbbVie has not followed the rules and forced it to seek a declaratory judgment action. It further said AbbVie ignored all the rules to strengthen its bottom line.