AbbVie raises profit outlook on Botox recovery signs, new drugs growth

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for drugmaker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

By Manas Mishra and Mrinalika Roy

(Reuters) – Drugmaker AbbVie Inc <ABBV.N> raised its full-year profit forecast on Friday, bolstered by signs of recovery in demand for its Botox injection on easing COVID-19 restrictions and strong growth for its latest drugs, sending its shares up 6%.

AbbVie now expects 2020 sales of $2.2 billion from psoriasis drug Skyrizi and rheumatoid arthritis drug Rinvoq, up from its prior forecast of $1.70 billion. It launched them last year as the U.S. patent of its older blockbuster drug Humira, which treats the conditions, will expire in 2023.

The drugmaker had earlier said Skyrizi and Rinvoq, which are rapidly grabbing market share away from Humira, could bring in over $10 billion in sales over the next five years.

Skyrizi currently has a 33% market share among patients who are untreated, Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said on a conference call.

“If we can achieve that kind of market share in each of these indications, then we’ll obviously double that 2025 number. And that gets you pretty close to covering all of Humira in the United States,” he said.

Third-quarter sales for Botox’s cosmetic use fell 2.2% year-on-year to $393 million, recovering from a 43.1% plunge in the second quarter, above analysts’ estimate of $364.4 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Humira brought in sales of $5.14 billion and Skyrizi generated $435 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

AbbVie raised the lower end of its 2020 adjusted profit per share forecast by 12 cents to $10.47 and the top range by 4 cents to $10.49.

AbbVie’s third-quarter adjusted profit of $2.83 beat analysts’ average estimate by 6 cents.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli & Ramakrishnan M.)