AbbVie Wants to be Hunter, Not Hunted Post-Abbott Laboratories Split

Published: Jan 01, 2013

Though billions of dollars of its sales are at risk from patent expirations in the next three years, new drug maker AbbVie (ABBV) launches next week with a pipeline its management hopes will have a cure for acute future revenue needs. Next Tuesday, the proprietary drug business of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) officially splits off into AbbVie, a company that will debut in 2013 with $18 billion in annual sales and a market capitalization of about $55 billion. AbbVie begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Unlike other drug makers that succumb to acquisitions as their pipelines dry up, AbbVie plans to be around for the long haul. That is what 35-year Abbott veteran Rick Gonzalez who is AbbVie’s CEO and his team are telling Wall Street analysts and investors leading up to the split. “AbbVie begins with our well established products and a patient-centered approach to a strong pipeline that features more than 20 mid-to-late stage clinical programs,” says Dr. John Leonard, a 20-year Abbott veteran, and current senior vice president of pharmaceuticals and R&D who will be senior vice president and chief scientific officer at AbbVie. The pipeline will be the story. AbbVie gets off to a good start with one of the drug industry’s biggest successes in Humira, an autoimmune biologic used as a treatment for everything from rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis to Crohn’s disease. Humira’s sales have more than doubled in the last four years to more than $9 billion annually.

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