M&A-minded AbbVie snaps up JPMorgan's dealmaking hotshot

AbbVie ($ABBV) could use some M&A to help it diversify beyond best-seller Humira, a popular biosimilar target. And that's something its newest hire knows a thing or two about.

Henry Gosebruch

The Illinois pharma is bringing on Henry Gosebruch, one of JPMorgan Chase's two co-heads of North American mergers, as its chief strategy officer. The appointment is "about enhancing our focus and recognizing the increasingly important role that corporate strategy and business development will play in our future," spokesman Greg Miley told FiercePharma via email.

Gosebruch is no stranger to pharma--or to AbbVie. He eventually became one of JPMorgan's top dealmakers in the space after joining the bank in 1994 as an intern, The New York Times notes. Gosebruch went on to advise on transactions like Forest Labs' sale to Actavis (now Allergan), Merck's ($MRK) Cubist takeover, and 2014's ultimately failed tie-up between AbbVie and Shire ($SHPG).

Now, with Gosebruch in tow, more moves could be on the way for the Chicago-area drugmaker. Since abandoning the Shire deal, AbbVie paid $21 billion for Imbruvica-maker Pharmacyclics, but the company may need more deals if dire predictions that some analysts have for Humira hold any weight.

Citi's Andrew Baum, for one, sees biosimilars making a big dent in the drug's revenues as soon as 2018. "At year 3, biosimilars will achieve 36% U.S. market share in Humira patients and 25% in established Humira patients," he wrote in February, forecasting that knockoffs would sink sales to $6 billion by 2022.

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