Amgen, Regeneron and AbbVie join Lilly and Novo Nordisk in posting largest Q3 market-cap gains: report

As sales of their GLP-1 diabetes and obesity drugs have surged, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk have become the most valuable biopharma companies in the United States and Europe, respectively. That didn't change in the third quarter as Lilly and Novo posted market-cap gains of 16.1% and 13.9%, according to figures compiled by GlobalData.

More surprising, however, were the market-cap rallies of three other drugmakers—Amgen (22.1%), Regeneron (14.9%) and AbbVie (13.1%).

Amgen’s increase came as the company reported an all-time high of $7 billion in revenues from the second quarter of 2023. The figure was a 6% increase from the prior year and was the result of an upswing in sales from cholesterol treatment Repatha, osteoporosis drug Prolia and Humira biosimilar Amjevita.

Growing confidence in Amgen’s $27.8 billion purchase of Horizon Therapeutics also undoubtedly played a role in the market-cap boost as the acquisition brings prized inflammatory disease drugs Tepezza, Krystexxa and Uplizna. 

Regeneron’s rise in the quarter came as the FDA approved its high-dose version of eye disease blockbuster Eylea. The nod is expected to help the company regain some of the sales it has lost to Roche’s Vabysmo.

The surge for AbbVie comes at an odd time as sales for its mega-blockbuster Humira are in free fall because of biosimilar competition in the U.S. But investors are gaining confidence in AbbVie’s efforts to compensate for the loss, and in immunology follow-ons Skyrizi and Rinvoq, which have combined for sales of $8.1 billion in the first three quarters this year.  

In the aggregate, the market cap of companies in the industry increased 0.2% during the quarter, GlobalData said, to $3.57 trillion.

The largest market-cap decrease was registered by Bayer (-12.7%), but that is owed largely to the German company’s troubled crop science business.

In addition to Bayer, seven other top-20 biopharma companies saw their market cap decrease by more than 9%. They were Pfizer (-12.5%), Daiichi Sankyo (-12.5%), Johnson & Johnson (-12.2%), CSL (-11.9%), Roche (-10%), Bristol Myers Squibb (-9.6%) and Merck (-9.6%).

“Top biopharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, are reaping the consequences over the first US drug price negotiations,” Ophelia Chan, a business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData, wrote in a summary of the group's findings.

Chan noted that J&J's Imbruvica, Stelara and Xarelto are set to face the first round of Medicare price negotiations beginning in 2026. The trio accounted for nearly $16 billion in J&J revenues last year.

BMS also felt a market-cap sting in the third quarter as Eliquis and Farxiga made the Medicare negotiations list. Same for Merck with Januvia and Bayer with Xarelto.

But companies can’t place all the blame for their declining value on the Inflation Reduction Act. Several big market-cap gainers had drugs on the CMS list as well, including Amgen (Enbrel), AbbVie (Imbruvica), Lilly (Jardiance) and Novo (insulin aspart).