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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that AbbVie’s $63 billion acquisition of Allergan would violate federal antitrust law.

According to the complaint, which was first announced in May 2020, the proposed acquisition would likely harm current competition in the market for treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or EPI, a condition that results in the inability to digest food properly; and future competition in the market for IL-23 inhibitors, a class of drug that treats both moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease and moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis.

The final order requires AbbVie and Allergan to divest to Nestlé, S.A. Allergan’s Zenpep and Viokase, which are currently sold to treat EPI. AbbVie and Allergan also are required to divest to AstraZeneca plc. Allergan’s rights and assets related to brazikumab – an IL-23 inhibitor that is in development to treat moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The Commission vote to approve the final order was 3-1-1, with Commissioner Rohit Chopra voting no and Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter not participating.

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Kari A. Wallace
Bureau of Competition