AbbVie drops drug secrecy case against EU agency

LONDON, April 3 Thu Apr 3, 2014 12:30pm EDT

LONDON, April 3 (Reuters) - AbbVie, one of the two U.S. firms bringing an injunction against Europe's drugs regulator over the issue of trial data secrecy, said on Thursday it had withdrawn its lawsuit.

AbbVie, a pharmaceutical company, had sought an injunction in March last year to block Europe's medicines regulator from releasing "confidential" and "commercially-sensitive" information on its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug.

AbbVie said on Thursday the European Medicines Agency had accepted a new set of redacted documents submitted by the company, along with the company's rationale for removing certain confidential information.

As a result, AbbVie withdrew its lawsuit.

The lawsuit against AbbVie and another U.S. drugmaker InterMune had turned into a high-profile fight over drug trial data.

Researchers and patient groups want access to this raw data to improve third-party scrutiny and stress-test claims about drugs. But many companies fear that this will damage their businesses and undermine the ability to defend patents.

(Reporting by Kate Holton. Editing by Jane Merriman)