JPM: A Humira-beating $20B in sales from Skyrizi and Rinvoq? It's possible, AbbVie CEO says

abbvie
AbbVie launched two important immunology drugs last year as Humira inches toward 2023 biosimilar competition. (AbbVie)

SAN FRANCISCO—AbbVie and its bestselling Humira will see megabillions exposed to copycat competition in the U.S. in just three years, but CEO Rick Gonzalez figures its up-and-coming Rinvoq and Skyrizi can eclipse their behemoth predecessor.

The two meds together could surpass the $20 billion mark, which Humira almost-but-not-quite hit in 2018, Gonzalez said Wednesday at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Skyrizi, the company’s April psoriasis launch, has scooped up about 25% of the “in-play” market share, Gonzalez said, referring to new patients and patients switching treatments. Rheumatoid arthritis treatment Rinvoq hit the market in August and has gained about 9% of the “in-play” share.

Cambrex Webinar

Understanding the Importance of Crystallization Processes to Avoid Unnecessary Cost, Risk and Development Delays

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | 10am ET / 7am PT

A well-developed crystallization process can produce suitable particles that can facilitate consistent filtration, drying and formulation of the API and allow confident and reliable manufacturing of the final drug product, while avoiding unnecessary cost, risk and development delays.

But AbbVie is just getting started. Even as the company launches the meds in those initial fields, it’s planning to seek new uses for the drugs until they can treat all the diseases Humira can—plus one other that's blockbuster-worthy in itself. 

Over time, Rinvoq and Skyrizi “will have all of the major indications that Humira has when fully built out, plus one that Humira doesn’t have, which is atopic dermatitis,” Gonzalez said at the conference, throwing down a gauntlet to Sanofi and Regeneron, who have $10 billion hopes for their entry in that field, Dupixent.

RELATED: AbbVie's new launches Skyrizi, Rinvoq aren't getting enough credit: analyst 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), atopic dermatits and psoriatic arthritis will be particularly important green lights for the new launches, the CEO said. In IBD, patients are “underserved” by current options. And Dupixent is the only biologic operating in atopic dermatitis, he said, giving Rinvoq an “important opportunity" in that field.

Net prices for the meds are about the same as Humira after rebates and discounts, Gonzalez said, which should be sustainable going forward.

Altogether, considering the “art of the possible,” the CEO said the drugs could one day generate $20 billion or more. In 2018, Humira pulled in $19.9 billion, and AbbVie hasn't yet reported full-year 2019 results.

RELATED: AbbVie answers Allergan aesthetics worries with separate new unit 

That’s a lofty estimate, considering Humira’s historic sales run and intense competition in several key treatment areas. UBS analyst Navin Jacob recently predicted the two newer drugs would pull in $11 billion in combined peak sales. 

As another move to prep for its upcoming Humira loss of exclusivity, AbbVie last year agreed to buy Botox-maker Allergan in a deal the companies expect to close in early 2020. AbbVie recently said it’d form a separate aesthetics unit inside the combined drugmaker to keep Botox on the right track.  

Suggested Articles

BMS' Opdivo and Yervoy only just won their first approval in previously untreated metastatic NSCLC, but the pair is already making it two.

Wrapping up the legal battle at $10 billion would be a win for Bayer, as it has lost $30 billion in market value since the Monsanto buyout.

Takeda’s Alunbrig has arrived in previously untreated, ALK-positive NSCLC. But there’s plenty of competition waiting to greet it at the door.