The Grapevine

AbbVie CEO Says New Form Of Humira Could Thwart Generics

A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - An updated experimental form of AbbVie Inc's Humira arthritis drug has clear advantages over the original that could help the company confront looming cheaper biosimilar forms of the blockbuster medication, Chief Executive Richard Gonzalez said in an interview.

"It's a fundamental change in the formulation of Humira," Gonzalez said. "I wouldn't describe it as a tweak." Asked if AbbVie intends to switch current Humira patients to the new formulation, if it is approved, he said it was too soon to predict, but that such a strategy would make sense.

(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Christian Plumb)