July 17 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc said on Tuesday it signed a U.S. licensing deal with Mylan NV for its proposed biosimilar to AbbVie's blockbuster drug Humira, in a move that will give it more near-term control over the competition.
The deal is in line with AbbVie's strategy to fend off rivals of the world's best-selling prescription drug until 2023, giving the company more time to bolster its pipeline with new cash cows to offset the expected sales decline.
Humira, which treats rheumatoid arthritis, raked in $18.43 billion in sales last year and accounted for nearly two-thirds of AbbVie's net revenue.
Mylan's acquired rights will begin on July 31, 2023 and will not be accelerated by the entry of rival products from Amgen Inc or Samsung Bioepis, both of who have made deals with AbbVie.
As per the deal, Mylan will pay royalties to AbbVie once its copycat product is launched and AbbVie will make no payments to Mylan.
The agreement also grants Mylan a license to certain other countries, excluding Europe.
Samsung Bioepis is partnered with Biogen Inc to market its biosimilar in Europe and Merck & Co in the United States. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)