Coherus Biosciences stock rocketed to a month high wednesday after a U.S. BOARD tossed out a key patent protecting AbbVie’s most important drug, arthritis medication Humira, thus clearing an obstacle from a similar treatment from coherus. recently U.S. PTAB, ruled against AbbViein a patent review and invalidated the dosing patent for Humira in rheumatoid arthritis. this increase in chance of a launch by coherus in 2019, of what is known is biosimilar.
small cap biotech coherus and no. 1 biotech Amgen(AMGN), are working on copycats of AbbVie’s top moneymaker. Humira is approved by Food and Drug Administration to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
“this does not mean that Coherus or Amgenor anyone can launch tommorro, but it does trigger a process that is likely to result in launch at least one year, and possibly two year, earlier than consensus expects.”
in 2016, Humira brought in $16.08 billion in sales, accounting for 63% of AbbVie’s total revenue. last year patent protecting Humira’s composition of matter expired. Biosimilars can now use the same bio-weekly 40mg injection techniques that AbbVie uses for Humira without infringing on AbbVie’s patent. But AbbVie also has prevailed in protecting three formulation.
“And since they were upheld, either biosimilar needs to wait till 2022, or try to work around them” Raffat wrote. Meanwhile, AbbVie is also fending off a patent battle with Amgen biosimilar, Amjevita, was approved in September, but Amgen has said it won’t launch amid litigation. A district court trial date has been scheduled for fall 2019.
“Technically, just the act of going through district court and appeals court could drag into a 2021 time frame,” Raffat said.
Credit Suisse analyst Alethia Young says the decision was simply “a positive for Coherus and a negative for AbbVie.” She notes that Coherus is also working on a copy of Amgen’s bone-marrow stimulant, Neulasta. Young questions whether AbbVie’s pipeline is robust enough to offset a decline in Humira sales. Evercore’s Raffat notes that AbbVie is about “to enter a very data-rich period for its pipeline.”