Biosimilar Buyouts: AbbVie Buyout of Allergan Receives Approval of Irish High Court; Gedeon Richter Buys Tocilizumab Biosimilar

On May 8, 2020, AbbVie announced that it completed its acquisition of Allergan plc, having received approval by the Irish High Court.  AbbVie and Allergan had previously announced, on May 5, 2020, that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accepted the proposed consent order in connection with the acquisition.  As part of the consent order, Allergan agreed to divest brazikumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds to the IL23 receptor and is in development for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, to AstraZeneca.

In other news, last week Taiwan-based Mycenax announced plans to sell its tocilizumab biosimilar, LusiNEX, to Hungary-based Gedeon Richter for $16.5 million.  LusiNEX, which has been in development since 2013, is currently being tested in a phase 1 trial. The proposed biosimilar is intended for second-line treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, but the FDA has approved a phase 3 trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of LusiNEX in treating COVID-19 pneumonia.