July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc reported quarterly earnings on Friday that edged past analysts' expectations, helped by robust demand for its flagship rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira.
Sales of Humira, the world's top selling drug, rose 13.7 percent to $4.72 billion in the second quarter ended June 30, beating analysts' average estimate of $4.64 billion, according to Barclays.
Humira, which is used to treat various autoimmune disorders, faces looming competition from copycat versions in the United States.
AbbVie has been trying to block the launch of Amgen's Humira knock-off. Meanwhile, earlier this year, the U.S. patent office ruled in favor of Coherus Biosciences' Humira copy, in a move that analysts say could advance its U.S. launch by a year.
AbbVie's cancer drug Imbruvica, which it jointly owns with Johnson & Johnson, raked in sales of $626 million.
AbbVie's net earnings rose to $1.92 billion, or $1.19 per share in the second quarter, from $1.61 billion, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.42 per share, beating analysts' estimates of $1.40 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
AbbVie's net revenue rose 7.6 percent to $6.94 billion. Analysts on average had expected $6.93 billion.
The company also maintained its forecast for full-year adjusted profit. (Reporting by Natalie Grover and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)