2. AbbVie

AbbVie has won approval for just five new drugs over the last five years but brought several more new meds into its portfolio with its acquisition of Allergan. (AbbVie)

Approvals in past 5 years:
Value of recent approvals: $76.4 billion
Percent of value from recent approvals: 36%

With a relatively small number of approvals adding up to a hefty $76.4 billion in present value, AbbVie’s new drugs are all about quality over quantity.

In all, AbbVie's portfolio of marketed drugs is worth $209.5 billion, according to data from EvaluatePharma and Evaluate Vantage. Drugs approved in the last five years represent 36% of that total.

The healthy outlook can be attributed largely to AbbVie’s budding immunology superstars, Rinvoq and Skyrizi, which the company hopes will fill the void when the world’s best-selling drug Humira succumbs to biosimilar competition in 2023. 

In its first full year on the market, plaque psoriasis treatment Skyrizi, obtained in a pricey 2016 deal with Boehringer Ingelheim, racked up sales of $1.59 billion. For its part, rheumatoid arthritis drug Rinvoq pulled in $731 million in 2020. AbbVie has predicted sales for the pair will double this year to a combined $4.6 billion, and the company is expecting $15 billion from them in 2025. Both meds won their FDA approvals in 2019.

The drugs carry impressive net present value figures of $33.9 billion for Rinvoq and $24.2 billion for Skyrizi, the Evaluate data show. They're central to AbbVie's plans to keep growing after Humira's loss of exclusivity.

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Just as the company did with Humira, AbbVie plans to add indications for the versatile pair. In April, Rinvoq was up for a key FDA decision in eczema where it is aiming to challenge Sanofi and Regeneron’s market-leading Dupixent. But those plans have been put on hold temporarily thanks to a classwide safety review of JAK inhibitors after Pfizer's Xeljanz turned up risks in a post-marketing study.

Meanwhile, another AbbVie launch has been slowed because fewer patients are eligible for treatment. Shortly after winning approval in 2017, Mavyret hit the market running, generating $3.01 billion in its first four full quarters. But because hepatitis C patients are cured by new drugs and no longer need treatment, the overall market is shrinking. Mavyvret generated $1.83 billion in revenue last year, a 36% drop from 2019. Evaluate places Mayvret’s value at $4.6 billion.       

The trajectory is different for AbbVie’s leukemia drug Venclexta, which has picked up four additional indications since its initial approval in 2016. The drug, which is co-owned by Roche, rolled up $1.34 billion in sales last year, a jump of 69% from 2019. AbbVie has high hopes for Venclexta’s pairing with Imbruvica, the powerhouse drug it shares with Johnson & Johnson. The combo would provide an attractive option for patients as a fixed-interval treatment. Evaluate estimates Venclexta is worth $13.3 billion.  

The fifth new drug in AbbVie’s arsenal, Orilissa, hasn’t made much impact as a treatment for endometriosis. But as part of a new cocktail and dubbed Oriahnn, it has discovered considerably more upside as a therapy to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding from uterine fibroids. It was approved in May of last year and Evaluate has tagged its value at $545 million.   

AbbVie has several other drugs in its portfolio which were approved over the last five years, but those were gained with the company’s acquisition of Allergan. For the purposes of the study, which was designed to measure the effectiveness of companies’ pipelines, Evaluate Pharma included only the products owned when they were initially approved.

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Among the new drugs AbbVie inherited from Allergan are glaucoma therapy Durysta, which scored approval last year, and migraine med Ubrelvy, which gained its FDA nod in 2019 and could be a big moneymaker in a growing market. Another Allegan import, depression drug Vraylar, has a chance to increase sales dramatically with a potential approval this year for major depressive disorder.  

While AbbVie’s new meds bring blockbuster potential, the company has seen its share of disappointments. Among the ill-fated deals were a $5.8 billion takeover of Stemcentryx and its cancer drug Rova-T, which AbbVie ditched in 2019, and an effort with Voyager to develop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s treatments. 

2. AbbVie