Novartis and Amgen settle lawsuit over migraine drug Aimovig

SWITZERLAND – Novartis and Amgen, who have been feuding for years over a failed deal, have agreed to lay down their grievances and move on.

The two companies have been at odds since 2019, when Novartis sued Amgen for breaching development agreements for the migraine drug Aimovig.

Amgen quickly filed its own suit against Novartis, alleging that the Swiss pharma giant breached their agreement by assisting Alder BioPharmaceuticals in bringing a potential competitor drug to market.

Amgen stated in a recent SEC filing that the parties were updating the terms of their Aimovig collaboration and settling their related lawsuits.

Aimovig is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activation of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a protein that causes migraines.


It was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in May 2018 for the prevention of migraine in adults, and it is administered as a monthly self-injection.

Amgen will no longer pay Novartis royalties on drug sales in the United States, but will pay for the cost of commercializing the drug in the United States.

Novartis will commercialize Aimovig outside of the United States and Japan. The two companies will split global development costs.

Novartis will not make any personnel changes as a result of the agreement. This contrasts with a previous change for the drugmaker regarding its Aimovig collaboration.

When Novartis returned U.S. rights to the drug to Amgen last year, the company said it would cut 186 jobs.

Aimovig brought in US$227 million for Amgen in the first nine months of 2021, compared to US$416 million for Eli Lilly's Emgality, US$227 million for Teva's Ajovy, and US$50 million for Lundbeck's Vyepti.

Previously, the companies shared business responsibilities in the United States, such as sales, marketing, and medical support functions.

Aimovig was approved by the FDA in 2018 as the first in a class of injectable CGRP medicines for migraine prevention. It was the first FDA-approved CGRP migraine prevention treatment at the time of its approval.

Since Aimovig’s approval in 2018, several other drugs for migraine prevention have been approved, including Eli Lilly’s Emgality, Teva’s Ajovy, and Lundbeck’s Vyepti, and it appears to have lost its early sales advantage over some competitors.

Meanwhile, a new class of oral medications is posing a threat to injectable medications. Nurtec ODT from Biohaven has dual approval for migraine prevention and treatment, and AbbVie has two new medications that analysts expect to be blockbusters.

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