Adalimumab is really hot at the moment. The biotech drug, which is used to combat inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or the inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s, has sales amounting to around $15 billion a year.
A dozen firms are currently working on developing a copy of Humira, the U.S. pharmaceutical company Abbvie’s trade name for the drug. The companies want to be on the market with a copy of the drug in time for when Humira’s patent runs out in 2018.
The battle for the market in these biopharmaceutically produced drugs – known as biosimilars — is in full swing. The potential is huge. The eight biggest biotech products that have or will be losing their patents between 2015 and 2020 most recently had annual sales amounting to €42 billion, or $44.5 billion.