AbbVie reports first-ever quarter, downplays Pfizer impact
AbbVie's first quarter as a standalone company ended in the black, with $4.3 billion in sales and $968 million in earnings. Sales of cornerstone product Humira were $2.4 billion for the quarter ended March 31, and the company saw Synagis sales reach $345 million, and AndroGel sales reach $240 million.
The company reiterated during Friday's earnings call that it remains committed to Humira. Although Europe's regulator refused Pfizer's Xeljanz for approval Thursday, AbbVie execs shrugged off the potential implications for its hold on the RA market. SVP John Leonard told analysts the RA market is a tough one to enter. CEO Richard Gonzalez noted that Humira has been holding its own in the RA market, and while it expects RA growth to continue to grow at a single-digit pace, Humira's major growth opportunities are in dermatology and gastroenterology, where is it seeing double-digit expansion. Gonzalez also noted emerging markets and biosimilars aren't a major company focus at this time because “roughly 80% of our revenues come from emerging markets,” which means AbbVie has not seen “any material impact from any biosimilar competition.”
AbbVie said its JAK-2 inhibitor research is progressing and is well into is Phase I development. The company expects the next generation of Hepatitis C treatments to begin to surface around 2015 and that its offerings will be easy to administer with fewer side effects. AbbVie announced earlier this week that its experimental five-pill HCV regimen wiped out the virus in at least 88% of treatment-naïve patients after eight weeks of treatment.