Pharma

How AbbVie is faring with Humira’s loss in exclusivity

Two other immunology drugs are, so far, doing a good job at filling the revenue gaps.
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After AbbVie’s Humira, the best-selling drug in the world, lost patent exclusivity in 2023, company executives placed their bets on two other AbbVie drugs, Skyrizi and Rinvoq, to make up for an anticipated steep decline in revenue.

The two drugs have been on the market since 2019 and treat many of the same conditions as Humira, an immunology drug designed to treat a number of inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

“We anticipate these two products will collectively exceed the peak revenues achieved by Humira by 2027, with significant growth expected through the end of the decade,” Richard Gonzalez, AbbVie chairman of the board and CEO, said during AbbVie’s full-year 2022 earnings call, Healthcare Brew previously reported.

So, how are Skyrizi and Rinvoq faring so far? Ahead of Abbvie’s execs’ expectations, it turns out.

While Humira is still more profitable than both Skyrizi and Rinvoq, bringing in $2.3 billion globally in Q1 2024 (a 36% drop over Q1 2023), Skyrizi is catching up quickly.

In Q1 2024, Skyrizi sales increased 47.6% over the prior year to $2 billion, and Rinvoq sales increased 59.3% to $1.1 billion.

The two drugs brought in a combined $11.7 billion in 2023, beating execs’ expectation of $11.1 billion, Healthcare Brew previously reported.

AbbVie’s immunology profile—which comprises Humira, Skyrizi, and Rinvoq—brought in a total of $5.4 billion in Q1 2024, a 3.9% decrease from the year prior. But, the company’s total quarterly revenue of $12.3 billion was about $400 million ahead of expectations, largely thanks to the sales boost from both Skyrizi and Rinvoq, Robert Michael, AbbVie’s president and COO, said during the Q1 earnings call on April 26.

Jeffrey Stewart, EVP and chief commercial officer, said during the call that the immunology profile’s revenue decrease was expected due to the drop in Humira sales.

AbbVie is expecting Skyrizi sales to continue to boom for the rest of the year, as the drug is on track to gain approval to treat ulcerative colitis by mid-2024, which could be a “substantial long-term growth driver,” Stewart said in the earnings call.

Scott Reents, AbbVie EVP and CFO, added that the company now expects to bring in $10.7 billion in total global Skyrizi sales in 2024, which he said is an increase of $200 million over previous estimates.

The company also expects to bring in about $5.6 billion in Rinvoq sales—$100 million more than previous estimates, according to Reents.

AbbVie projects the combined “peak sales” of Rinvoq and Skyrizi will exceed Humira’s average of $21+ billion per year within the next few years.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.