AbbVie reported $17.3bn in Humira sales in the US in 2021, up 7.6% versus the prior year. Growth in the US has enabled AbbVie to continue increasing sales in the US even as off-patent competitors to the TNF inhibitor have caused revenues to contract internationally.
Next year marks the arrival of biosimilar rivals to Humira in the US. Amgen is set to be first to market, with its rival to Humira on track to come to market in January. Then, in July 2023, Teva and a clutch of other biosimilar developers will introduce their own copies of AbbVie’s blockbuster.
Sven Dethlefs, executive vice president, North America commercial at Teva, set out the key dates in the fight to win market share from AbbVie on a second quarter results conference call on July 27.
“I believe the uptake will be largely defined by the contracting strategies of [pharmacy benefit managers] and our customers, how they think they would like to build the biosimilar market versus the offer that they get from AbbVie,” said Dethlefs. “That will be a two-step approach. One will happen in 2023, primarily in the summer of 2023, and then you will see a second phase in 2024, when the whole book of contracting will be opened again.”
The opportunity has attracted multiple major drugmakers. The list of companies with Humira biosimilars in the pipeline includes Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis’ Sandoz and Pfizer.
There are differences between the biosimilars with actual and pending approvals from US Food and Drug Administration, for example in terms of their concentration, interchangeability, needle size and the presence of citrate and latex. After reviewing the competition, Dethlefs thinks Teva will be competitive.
“I believe we are in a good position,” said Dethlefs. “We have the best product profile of all companies coming to the market in 2023. And we are already in discussions with all our customers about the access approach for next year.”
Teva secured rights to its Humira biosimilar through a deal with Alvotech, an Icelandic company that has sought to differentiate itself in the competitive space by bringing an interchangeable high-concentration therapy to market.