AbbVie’s weak newer drug sales fan worries as Humira faces rivals


AbbVie’s weak newer drug sales fan worries as Humira faces rivals

April 27 (Reuters) – AbbVie Inc. (ABBV.N) on Thursday missed quarterly revenue estimates for its newer treatments, fueling concerns over the drugmaker’s attempts to cushion the blow to sales from blockbuster Humira losing patent exclusivity.

The company’s shares tumbled 6% in premarket trade as investors shrugged off a raised annual profit forecast.

In the first quarter, Humira recorded sales of $3.54 billion, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $3.58 billion.

Humira, once the world’s biggest selling drug, is facing competition from biosimilars in the U.S. and Europe.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN.O) recently launched its biosimilar, Amjevita, the first such competition for Humira in the U.S., at a 5% discount to Humira’s monthly price of $6,922.

AbbVie pre-empted the so-called “sales cliff” from Humira patent expiry through its 2020 deal to buy Botox-maker Allergan, as well as betting on newer immunology drugs Skyrizi and Rinvoq.

However, Rinvoq sales of $686 million missed estimates of $713.7 million in the first quarter, while Skyrizi’s sales of $1.36 billion also fell short of expectations of $1.46 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

“AbbVie needs to instill confidence that growth from the novel inflammation franchise will drive earnings as Humira turns over with biosimilar entrants. One quarter of softness isn’t great, but we’re focused on this not becoming a trend,” BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan Seigerman said.

Meanwhile, Botox sales for cosmetic applications rose 3% to $659 million and topped estimates of $609 million, while therapeutic use jumped 17% to $719 million, surpassing expectations of $651.4 million.

That helped Abbvie beat sales expectations. It posted revenue of $12.23 billion, topping estimates of $12.17 billion.

The company raised its annual adjusted earnings forecast by 10 cents to be between $10.72 and $11.12 per share.

AbbVie had trimmed its full-year profit expectations earlier this month by 8 cents, citing a $150 million hit from acquired in-process research and development (IPR&D) and milestone expenses.

Reporting by Mariam E Sunny and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source: Reuters