By Mike Scarcella
Jan 4 (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday said Botox maker AbbVie's ABBV.N Allergan unit can move ahead with its lawsuit accusing Revance Therapeutics RVNC.O of taking its confidential data to compete with Allergan's anti-wrinkle injections and facial fillers.
U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson in Nashville, Tennessee, ruled that Allergan plausibly alleged that Revance had acquired and used some of its rival’s trade secrets amid a series of new hires from Allergan.
Richardson said Allergan had “presented enough circumstantial evidence” to overcome Revance’s initial bid to dismiss the lawsuit, which was filed in April.
Nashville-based Revance obtained U.S. regulatory approval in 2022 for an anti-wrinkle injectable product it markets as Daxxify. Revance also separately is developing medication that is biologically similar to Allergan’s Botox.
Attorneys for Revance and a representative for the company did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Thursday.
AbbVie also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
AbbVie acquired Botox, which launched in 2002, through its $63 billion purchase of Allergan. The drug is also approved for chronic migraine headaches and other therapeutic uses, in addition to cosmetic purposes.
Global Botox net revenue for cosmetics was $620 million in the third quarter, and $748 million for therapeutics in the same period, AbbVie reported in October.
Allergan's lawsuit alleged Revance "accelerated" a plan to recruit from Allergan regulatory professionals, in-house lawyers and sales and marketing employees who were knowledgeable about Botox and the company’s popular dermal filler Juvéderm.
The lawsuit said “it would be very challenging (if not impossible) to produce a biosimilar imitating Botox" without Allergan's confidential information.
Revance in seeking dismissal of the lawsuit said Allergan had not shown Revance had access to any of the trade secrets at issue and called the allegations "nonsensical." It said Allergan had “raced to the courthouse” after Revance won additional regulatory clearances to ramp up production of Daxxify.
Revance said in a court filing that Daxxify “represents a significant threat” to Botox.
The case is Allergan Inc v. Revance Therapeutics Inc, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, No. 3:23-cv-00431.
For Allergan: Jennifer Baldocchi and Eric Dittmann of Paul Hastings; and William (Zan) Blue of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete
For Revance: Katie Molloy, James Boudreau and Gregory Bombard of Greenberg Traurig
Allergan accuses Botox rival Revance of employee raiding in US lawsuit
(Reporting by Mike Scarcella)
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