In last Q2 with Humira market lock, AbbVie leans on bestseller to offset Imbruvica losses

In the last second quarter that AbbVie will ever have true market exclusivity for Humira, the company leaned heavily on the top-seller and other drugs in its immunology profile to offset a drop in Imbruvica sales.

The North Chicago, Illinois pharma achieved second-quarter revenues of $14.6 billion, a 6.1% operational increase in the second quarter, thanks to Humira. The med scored a 9% U.S. revenue increase to $4.66 billion. International revenues decreased by 7.3% to $699 million, which the company chalked up to biosimilar competition.

Skyrizi and Rinvoq also pitched into the bottom line, with combined revenues of $1.84 billion. In total, AbbVie’s immunology portfolio reached revenues of $7.21 billion, jumping up 19.2% on an operational basis.

Global Humira net revenues, reaching $5.36 billion for a 6.8% increase, offset the 17% decrease of Imbruvica revenues, which fell to $1.145 billion. Imbruvica continued to be “unfavorably impacted” by a delayed market recovery for new patients to start therapy, as well as increasing competition, said CEO Rick Gonzalez on the company’s second-quarter earnings call.

Humira, the world's top-selling drug since 2012, is enjoying its last year of market exclusivity before biosimilars march in to steal the crown. As this competition approaches, CEO Rick Gonzalez flagged interchangeability and ability to supply the market as key attributes for any company trying to offer a biosimilar.

He predicted that biosimilars with interchangeability consistent with the current market Humira leads will occur in the summer of 2023, with “one or two biosimilars that have a profile just like that.” Patients and providers looking to make a change to a biosimilar should ensure they are going with a company that has the ability to sustainably produce “significant volume," the CEO said on the earnings call.

As for M&A, AbbVie is continuing to execute the strategy put in place after the transformative 2020 Allergan acquisition. The current objective is looking for opportunities to fill out portfolio areas, with a focus on earlier-stage assets to add to the R&D pipeline, Gonzalez said.

As for the industry as a whole, “many players are trying to add to their portfolios,” the chief executive said. “I think there’s less of an appetite for larger transactions right now, in general across the industry.”