- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Amgen said Wednesday that its version of Humira, the best-selling drug in the world, worked as well as the original medication in a late-stage clinical trial.

The study is one of two that Amgen is running to compare its generic biotech drug ABP 501 to Humira as a treatment for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Humira is also known as adalimumab, and it is used to treat a variety of conditions including Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and plaque psoriasis.

IMS Health says Humira, made by AbbVie Inc., is the biggest-selling brand-name drug in the world by dollar value. During the second quarter, revenue from Humira grew 26 percent to $3.29 billion. The drug loses patent protection in 2016.

As the markets moved higher in afternoon trading, Amgen Inc. shares rose $4.02, or 2.9 percent, to $140.05 and shares of AbbVie gained $1.51, or 2.7 percent, to $58.16.

Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, California, says it is studying a total of six generic versions of biotech drugs, or biosimilars. It wants to start marketing generic versions of those drugs in 2017. Biotech drugs are grown in living cells rather than produced with chemicals, so creating a generic duplicate is considered more difficult and carries more regulatory hurdles.

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