April 5 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc on Thursday said it signed a deal with Biogen Inc and its joint venture partner Samsung Bioepis that would fend off U.S. competition of their rival version to blockbuster drug Humira until 2023.
This is the second deal AbbVie has signed over the past year as it tries to safeguard patents on Humira, which is the world's top-selling prescription medicine.
The drug, which treats rheumatoid arthritis, raked in $18.43 billion in sales last year and accounted for nearly two-thirds of AbbVie's net revenue.
While terms of the deal were undisclosed, the companies said they agreed to dismiss all pending lawsuits.
Samsung Bioepis' license to market its biosimilar will kick off on June 30, 2023, after which Samsung will pay royalties to license Humira patents, AbbVie said in a statement.
Biogen expects to launch the biosimilar, Imraldi, in Europe in mid-October this year.
In September, Amgen Inc reached a similar settlement with AbbVie to delay the U.S. launch of its cheaper biosimilar to Humira until Jan. 31, 2023.
Shares of AbbVie, which has been focusing on developing cancer drugs to sustain long-term growth, have been under pressure in recent months hurt by a failed trial of an experimental lung cancer treatment, Rova-T. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)