In a continuously evolving landscape with the introduction of Humira biosimilars into the U.S. market, AbbVie executives express satisfaction with the unfolding scenario. Nevertheless, the company is grappling with substantial revenue declines, not only for Humira but also for another key medicine in its portfolio.
During the second quarter, Humira revenues witnessed a significant 25% drop compared to the same period last year, settling at $4 billion. Despite this, AbbVie’s CEO, Richard Gonzalez, remarked during a conference call with analysts that the situation is unfolding “as projected, and slightly better than our planning assumptions.” He confidently stated that they are competing effectively against the various biosimilar offerings.
AbbVie now predicts that Humira’s sales erosion will reach 35% this year, slightly lower than their previous estimate of 37%. To counterbalance the impact of growing Humira competition, the company has turned to Skyrizi and Rinvoq. These drugs exhibited impressive sales gains of 50% and 55% year over year in the second quarter, respectively, reaching a combined sales figure of $2.8 billion.
Chief Operating Officer Robert Michael revealed during the call that the company expects the combined peak sales of Skyrizi and Rinvoq to “significantly exceed” Humira’s peak sales of $21.23 billion.
Skyrizi recently emerged victorious in a head-to-head phase 4 study against Amgen’s Otezla, allowing AbbVie to position the drug effectively against its competitor. Currently, Skyrizi holds approximately 32% market share, with the company expecting this number to rise over time.
Overall, AbbVie’s second-quarter revenue sales dipped by 4.9% to $13.86 billion. Aside from the challenges faced with Humira, AbbVie’s hematologic oncology portfolio suffered an even larger decline of 10.4%. This decline was largely attributed to Johnson & Johnson-partnered oncology medication, Imbruvica, which experienced a 20% decrease to $907 million due to fierce competition from BeiGene’s Brukinsa.
Despite the sales downturn, the company managed to slightly increase its earnings guidance after surpassing expectations for both the first and second quarters of 2023. AbbVie now anticipates its full-year earnings per share to fall between $10.90 and $11.10, compared to the previous range of $10.57 to $10.97.
Regarding potential mergers and acquisitions, AbbVie is actively seeking assets that have the potential to redefine the standard of care. Gonzalez stated that the company has the financial capability to acquire larger assets and would naturally pursue a deal that promises a promising return. However, he emphasized that AbbVie’s growth does not solely depend on such acquisitions.