Janssen Drops Lawsuit Against Samsung Bioepis’ Remicade Copy

The less-expensive biosimilar will cut into J&J’s nearly $5 billion annual sales of infliximab

Janssen Biotech, Inc., a unit of health care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson, has dropped a lawsuit it filed to block a copy of its rheumatoid arthritis drug infliximab (Remicade) produced by South Korea’s Samsung Bioepis Co. Ltd. from being sold in the United States.

Janssen, in a document to the U.S. District Court of New Jersey dated November 10 and seen by Reuters, voluntarily dismissed its suit to block Samsung Bioepis’ biosimilar of Remicade from sale. Remicade is Johnson & Johnson’s biggest selling drug, with U.S. sales of about $5 billion a year.

Janssen had filed the suit in May to investigate whether the South Korean firm violated its manufacturing process patents.

The dismissal was “with prejudice,” meaning Janssen is barred from bringing a new case against Samsung Bioepis on the same basis.

A Janssen spokesman could not be reached for comment by Reuters.

“Janssen’s withdrawal of the lawsuit marks a positive step towards improving patient access to biosimilars in the United States,” Samsung Bioepis spokesman Mingi Hyun said.

Merck & Co. and Samsung Bioepis, part of South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group, in July launched their less expensive alternative version of Remicade, which is marketed as Renflexis (infliximab-abda) in the United States.

Source: Reuters; November 14, 2017.