AbbVie gets out of the way as the EU prepares for trial transparency

Amid a continental push to make more clinical trial results available to the public, the European Medicines Agency has apparently assuaged a former foe in AbbVie ($ABBV), as the drugmaker dropped a lawsuit designed to block the release of data on its blockbuster Humira.

As Bloomberg reports, AbbVie filed suit last year claiming that the EMA's plans to disclose its trial results could do "serious and irreparable" damage to the company by exposing commercial secrets. But the two parties came to agreement through which some clinical data will see the light but "sensitive" information will be kept private, AbbVie told the news service.

With AbbVie standing down, the EMA still faces an outstanding appeal from InterMune ($ITMN), which filed its protest at the same time and over the same issue.

Meanwhile, Europe is marching toward sunshine with its clinical trial regulations, with the European Parliament this week voting in favor of new rules that would require sponsors to publish all clnical trial results within a year of the studies being completed. The change is expected to take effect in 2016 and will apply only to new trials.

Unlike AbbVie and InterMune, many in biopharma are working to get a head start on the coming reforms with transparency pledges of their own. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) have made the biggest commitments to data sharing, while Sanofi ($SNY), Roche ($RHHBY), Pfizer ($PFE) and others have moved to get in line with changing regulations by opening up their vaults to varying degrees.

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