AbbVie hikes full-year outlook as Skyrizi, Rinvoq offset Humira slump

26 Apr 2024
Financial StatementBiosimilar
AbbVie's first-quarter results presentation Friday revealed that newer anti-inflammatory treatments like Rinvoq and Skyrizi helped mitigate a 36% drop in Humira sales following the entry of biosimilar competition last year. Humira brought in $2.3 billion in the first three months of 2024, which was in line with analyst expectations, but well below the $3.5 billion it generated a year ago.
"First-quarter results were well ahead of our expectations, driven by excellent performance from our ex-Humira growth platform," stated chief operating officer Robert Michael, who is due to replace long-time CEO Richard Gonzalez in July.
Other products in the company's immunology portfolio did the heavy lifting. Skyrizi posted sales of $2 billion, up 48% from the prior year, while Rinvoq contributed $1.1 billion, a 59% increase. The performances helped drive AbbVie's overall revenue to $12.3 billion, up nearly 1% from the same time last year, and exceeding consensus estimates of $11.9 billion.
Holding on to Humira market
Nine Humira biosimilars have been launched in the US since last year, although AbbVie still clings to a formidable 98% share of the drug's market (see – Physician Views Results: Lack of financial incentive and prescriber confidence stalling adoption of biosimilar Humira products). Earlier this month, Boehringer Ingelheim confirmed plans to let go some sales staff amid lower-than-expected uptake of its Humira biosimilar in the US.
Bucking the trend is Sandoz's Hyrimoz, which unlike other Humira biosimilars, has seen a recent "explosion" in new prescriptions, according to an analyst note from Evercore ISI. The shift follows a decision by CVS Caremark, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the US, to drop Humira from its major national commercial formularies earlier this year.
"As we round out the first year with biosimilar competition to Humira, we believe the company has managed the erosion well," remarked William Blair analyst Tim Lugo.
'Firing on all cylinders'
In other first-quarter results, AbbVie said blood cancer treatment Imbruvica generated $838 million in the quarter, a gain of 4.5% year-over-year, beating estimates of $744 million. Some investors have been worried about the possibility of mandated price cuts for the drug starting in 2026 after it was selected as one of 10 products subject to pricing talks with Medicare.
Revenues from the company's neuroscience portfolio are also up, including the atypical antipsychotic Vraylar (+24% to $694 million), and the migraine treatments Ubrelvy (+34% to $203 million) and Qulipta (+98% to $131 million).
AbbVie now expects adjusted profit of between $11.13 and $11.33 per share for this year, compared with $10.97 to $11.17 estimated previously.
Commenting on the Q1 results, Lugo said AbbVie is "firing on all cylinders," with the performance "mainly driven by strength across the portfolio, particularly in the immunology franchise."
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