5. AbbVie

AbbVie just completed its Allergan buyout, and the combined drugmaker is set to hold a top five position by sales in 2026. (AbbVie)

Estimated 2026 sales: 
$53.56 billion (includes Allergan) 
2019 sales: $32.35 billion
2019-26 CAGR: 1.84%

Of all the companies on this list, AbbVie has changed the most over the last year thanks to its Allergan buyout. And more change is ahead: The company is bracing for a significant challenge to revenues in the years leading up to 2026. 

Humira, the drug industry’s top-selling product, is set to lose U.S. exclusivity in 2023. Knowing that billions of dollars in revenue are at risk, AbbVie last year agreed to shell out $63 billion for Allergan, bringing the blockbuster Botox and several other products into the fold.  

But even after that massive buyout, Evaluate says it's “not out of the question for AbbVie to consider further moves.” With an annual growth rate of 1.84% in the cards through 2026, more dealmaking might well be necessary, Evaluate said.

After all, biosimilar competition for Humira is expected to be intense: After generating $19.17 billion last year—and after years of work fending off copycats—Humira will face numerous U.S. knockoffs starting in early 2023. Amgen, the first would-be competitor to settle patent litigation with AbbVie, is cleared for launch that January, and other rivals are set for launches staggered throughout the year.

AbbVie already has firsthand experience in what's next. In Europe, where Humira already competes with biosimilar versions, sales are on the decline; executives said in January that they're expecting to lose $2 billion in Humira sales to ex-U.S. biosimilars this year—30% of its international revenue from the drug.

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

Meanwhile, AbbVie is marketing Humira follow-ups Skyrizi and Rinvoq in plaque psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, respectively, with more indications expected along the way. Those drugs could one day bring in more than Humira’s nearly $20 billion in peak sales, AbbVie CEO Rick Gonzalez said earlier this year at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. 

Already, Skyrizi generated $300 million in the first quarter of 2020, and Rinvoq pulled in $86 million. Alongside those new launches, AbbVie’s Oriahnn in May scored an FDA approval in uterine fibroids, carrying a peak sales expectation of $354 million.

RELATED: AbbVie to pay Genmab $750M upfront to form bispecific R&D pact

While the 2023 Humira loss of exclusivity will hurt, RBC Capital Markets analysts see the drugmaker becoming a "growth story again on the other side." The opportunity is currently "under-appreciated," RBC analyst Randall Stanicky wrote in a note to clients, and will be partly driven by "pipeline visibility and confidence increases over the next couple of years."

The company just inked its Genmab bispecific antibody pact, he pointed out, and intends to pursue more deals.

AbbVie's internal pipeline includes ABBV-951 in Parkinson's disease; elezanumab in spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis and acute ischemic stroke; plus numerous early-stage oncology candidates.

5. AbbVie