Humira, its uses and side effects
NEWS 2008 Bayer Healthcare LLC, a unit of Bayer AG (BAYG.DE) filed a
patent-infringement lawsuit in a U.S. court against Abbott Laboratories
(ABT.N) relating to the drug Humira on Dec 24. [1]

Bayer Healthcare said Abbott's drug infringes on a 1997 Bayer patent
"Human Anti-TNF Antibodies." The patent covers antibodies that fight a
protein called "tumor necrosis factor" (TNF), that causes inflammation.[1]

Humira is used to treat certain patients with arthritis, psoriasis, Crohn's
Disease and a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. [1]

Humira is an injectable drug for treating multiple immune system-related
diseases, including rheumatoid and ankylosing spondylitis (a type of
arthritis) the intestinal disorder Crohn's disease and the skin condition
plaque psoriasis. Abbott has projected that Humira sales will exceed $4.4
billion in the year of 2008. [2]

Abbott said there is no infringement issue because Abbott believes that
Bayer's patent is invalid. [2] The Bayer patent in question, No. 5,654,407,
covers a genetically engineered antibody that binds to and blocks the
action of a type of immune system cell called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF.
TNF is one of the cytokines, the "messengers" of the immune system, and
stimulates inflammation, a key problem in the conditions that Humira treats.

[1] Bayer unit sues Abbott over Humira arthritis drug Reuters Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:32am EST [2]
Bayer Sues Abbott Over Humira Wall Street Journal Dec 31 2008 [3] Bayer sues Abbott, alleging
patent infringement The Association Press Dec 31 2008 [4]
What is Humira? [4]
HUMIRA (adalimumab) is a medicine called a Tumor Necrosis Factor
(TNF) blocker.

HUMIRA is used to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to
severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in adults, moderate to severe
polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in children 4 years of age
and older, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults, ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in
adults and moderate to severe Crohn’s disease (CD) in adults who have
not responded well to conventional treatments. HUMIRA is also for these
adults who have lost response or are unable to tolerate infliximab.

Humira also treats moderate to severe chronic (lasting a long time)
plaque psoriasis (Ps) in adults.

Side Effects of Humira?

Common side effects of HUMIRA are: injection site reactions (redness,
rash, swelling, itching or bruising), upper respiratory infections (sinus
infections), headaches, rash and nausea.

Serious infections have happened in patients receiving HUMIRA. These
infections include TB (tuberculosis) and infections caused by viruses,
fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some patients
have died from these infections.

It may also cause certain types of cancer, allergic reactions, Hepatitis B
reactivation in patients that carry the virus, nervous system problems,
blood problems, new heart failure and immune reactions.