Endocrinology, cardiovascular, and rare disease segments
AbbVie (ABBV) offers drugs such as Lupron, Duopa, Duodopa, Sevoflurane, TriCor, Trilipix, Niaspan, Simcor, Advicor, and Zemplar in the endocrinology, cardiovascular, and rare disease segments.
According to Medical News Today, “Endocrinology is a specialty of medicine; some would say a sub-specialty of internal medicine, which deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to hormones.” AbbVie’s Lupron is an injectable endocrinology drug used for the treatment of symptoms of prostate cancer in men by suppressing testosterone hormones that can cause tumor growth.
The drug also targets rare diseases such as central precocious puberty (or CPP), where signs of puberty are witnessed much earlier in the child’s body, and the treatment of anemia in patients with uterine fibroids.
Lupron has proved to be a blockbuster therapy for AbbVie and continues to hold its prostate cancer market share despite tough competition from drugs such as Sanofi’s (SNY) Jevtana, Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Zytiga, and Dendreon’s Provenge.
WebMD states, “Dyslipidemia means an abnormal amount of lipids, or fats, in the blood. Lipids are essential to life, but an excess of certain lipids can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease.” AbbVie has a range of dyslipidemia drugs such as TriCor, Trilipix, Niaspan, Simcor, and Advicor that target medical conditions caused by high levels of cholesterol or triglycerides in the blood.
These drugs face competition from existing statin drugs such as Pfizer’s (PFE) Lipitor and Merck’s Mevacor as well as from the recently launched new PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) inhibitor class of drugs.
Anesthesia and rare diseases
AbbVie also holds the anesthesia drug Sevoflurane in its portfolio. As well, AbbVie offers rare disease drugs such as Duodopa and Duopa for Parkinson’s disease and Zemplar for secondary hyperparathyroidism. Though rare diseases afflict a small number of people, the drugs treating these conditions have better pricing power due to limited competition.
Investors can get exposure to AbbVie’s diversified portfolio through the VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH). PPH holds 4.84% of its total holdings in AbbVie.