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AbbVie RA deal: best in class – but years behind

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

The $840m deal AbbVie signed on 23 September with Ablynx, the Belgian "nanobody" specialist, comes after it agreed to pay up to $1.35bn to Galapagos for a similar type of deal in the same therapeutic space last year, and up to $480m to Biotest the year before. The stakes are high, and for good reason: AbbVie currently sells one of the best-selling medicines of all time, the anti-TNF biologic Humira (adalimumab; 2012 sales $9.3bn). To future-proof its market-leading position in the autoimmune space it needs to cover several bases.

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