Coherus and AbbVie File Dueling Motions for Injunctive Relief Relating to Coherus’s HUMIRA Biosimilar

Our readers may recall that ten HUMIRA biosimilars have been licensed to launch, with Amgen’s AMJEVITA the only one to launch to date and nine others set to launch starting in July 2023.  On June 1, 2023, Coherus issued a press release announcing “that the company plans to launch YUSIMRY™ (adalimumab-aqvh) in July 2023* with a list price of $995 per carton (2 x 40 mg/0.8 mL autoinjectors), the lowest price announced to date of any adalimumab offering in the United States…* *No sales will occur, and no purchase orders will be accepted, until July 2023.”  That same day, Coherus and Cost Plus issued a joint press release announcing that “Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company plans to offer YUSIMRY to its customer at a price of $569.27 plus dispensing and shipping fees starting in July 2023.”  Coherus and AbbVie recently filed competing complaints in the Delaware Court of Chancery relating to these press releases.

On June 13, 2023, Coherus filed a Verified Complaint for Injunctive Relief and for Declaratory Judgement, alleging (among other things) that “on June 6, 2023, AbbVie sent Coherus a letter purporting to notify Coherus that it had violated Section 5.2 of the License.”  In that letter, AbbVie “pointed to language contained in the Coherus/Cost Plus press release announcing ‘plans to offer Mark Cuban/Cost Plus Drug Company customers YUSIMRY … in July 2023.”  Coherus requested that the Court enter a temporary restraining order “prohibiting AbbVie from terminating the License” and “order specific performance compelling AbbVie to continue to comply with its obligations under the License.”

That same day, AbbVie filed a Verified Complaint against Coherus, alleging that Coherus breached the parties Settlement and License Agreement.  Specifically, AbbVie alleged that Coherus’s press releases are a breach that “threatens AbbVie’s contractual relationships with other biosimilars companies related to adalimumab, may impact negotiations within the adalimumab market…and improperly benefits Coherus.”  With its Verified Complaint, AbbVie also filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction “preventing Coherus or any entity with which it is affiliated or acting in concert from breaching the Agreement and any other relief this Court deems appropriate, pending the outcome of this litigation.”

Things progressed quickly and, on June 14, 2023, the parties filed a stipulation in the case brought by Coherus in which “AbbVie stipulates that it will not terminate the Parties’ Settlement and License Agreement (“Agreement”) without first serving on Coherus a new notice of breach pursuant to Section 10 of the Agreement, and affording Coherus at least seven (7) days to cure.  AbbVie will not seek to terminate the Agreement based on the notice of breach provided in Abbvie’s letter to Coherus dated June 6, 2023” and “Coherus agrees to withdraw its Motion for Temporary Restraining Order filed on June 13, 2023 (“Motion”).  In the event AbbVie serves a new notice of breach pursuant to Section 10 of the Agreement, Coherus reserves the right to bring a new Motion for Temporary Restraining Order.”

The next day, Coherus filed an 8K with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosing the competing motions and that “[t]he parties engaged in discussions to attempt to resolve the dispute and on June 14, 2023 entered into a stipulation resolving the Company’s motion for temporary restraining order, whereby AbbVie agreed that it will not seek to terminate the AbbVie Agreement based on its June 6, 2023 notice, and that it will not terminate the Agreement unless it first serves a new notice of breach and affords the Company an opportunity to cure any alleged breach.”

We are following the dockets and will post updates as the matters develop.