also being trialled for rheumatoid arthritis.
Abbott is understood to have told F-H it was uncomfortable with the agency's simultaneous work on the products. Humira is in phase-II trials for Crohn's, while Cimzia has just completed phase-III trials.
Abbott moved without delay to hand the Humira account to Weber Shandwick. WS, whose London office referred PRWeek to Abbott, is thought to have been runner-up in the original pitch for the account last year.
The pharma company said: 'We confirm that due to a conflict of interest at F-H, Abbott has moved the Humira external affairs account to another agency.'
The account was believed to be worth around £250,000 annually to F-H. It has only won the business in the past few months. The agency's regional director for the UK, Ireland and South Africa, Kevin Bell declined to comment on fees but said: 'Conflicts of interest inevitably do arise.'
Bell said Abbott remained one of F-H's biggest clients worldwide across PR and public affairs.