12. AbbVie  $12.6B ▲4.7%

Global revenue: $19B (13th); up 5.5%
Top brands: Humira ($7.2B); Synthroid ($998M); Androgel ($934M); Lupron ($580M); Creon ($516M)  
Promotional spend: $636M (10th); 5% of rev.
R&D spend: $3.2B (12th); up 15%; 16.8% of rev.
Planned launches: elotuzumab (onc.); adalimumab [humira] (pediatric crohn’s); elagolix (endometriosis pain)
Patent expirations: Humira (2016); Kaletra (2016); Androgel (2015)

AbbVie’s proposed $54-billion acquisition of Shire never made it to the finish line, felled by US tax rules that deter inversions. So attention turned back to Humira—whose patent clock is ticking, with generic competition set to arrive by December 2016. Still, while the Humira patent and the Shire negotiations kept AbbVie in the headlines, the company made news in other ways. It acquired Pharmacyclics for $21 billion. It also sealed a forward-minded $1.5-billion agreement to become the marketing and commercialization partner for Google’s independent biotech, Calico. And AbbVie made inroads in oncology, announcing positive Phase-II results for leukemia drug venetoclax, with one patient going into full remission. The results were so impressive, in fact, that they prompted always-skeptical Evercore ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum to ask, in one of his famed e-blasts, “Is this a cure?” Another drug that should soften the imminent Humira blow is HCV triplet therapy Viekira Pak, expected to reach annual sales of $2 to $3 billion in 2015.

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