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Imbruvica Continues to Expand across Indications and Lines of Therapy

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Label expansion

In 1Q16, Abbvie was actively involved in further exploring the efficacy of Imbruvica in multiple types of tumors. The company plans to expand the use of the drug across multiple indications as well as lines of therapy. On March 4, 2016, the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved Imbruvica as a first line of therapy for CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia). To know more about Imbruvica’s label expansion, please refer to Imbruvica’s Strong Label Could Boost AbbVie’s Growth in 2016.

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Imbruvica performance

Imbruvica managed to earn revenues of about $381 million in 1Q16, which comprised of $325 million from the US market and $56 million from foreign markets.

Initially approved as a second line of therapy for CLL and mantle cell lymphoma (or MCL), AbbVie has witnessed strong growth in the drug’s sales as first-line therapy for CLL. Imbruvica’s efficacy and safety profile has also been emphasized by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, which granted category one, or the highest recommendation to the drug for CLL. Imbruvica was expected to pose tough competition to other hematologic oncology drugs such as Novartis’s (NVS) Farydak, Celgene’s (CELG) Revlimid, and Amgen’s (AMGN) Kyprolis. To know more about Imbruvica, please refer to AbbVie’s Acquisition of Pharmacyclics Proves Favorable.

Venclexta approval

On April 11, 2016, the FDA approved AbbVie’s BCL-2 inhibitor drug, Venclexta, for the treatment of CLL patients with 17p deletion and who have already been treated with some other CLL drug. The drug targets a difficult-to-treat segment of CLL patients.

If Venclexta proves to be a commercial success, it may boost Abbvie’s share price as well as those of the iShares S&P 500 Growth ETF (IVW). AbbVie makes up about 0.56% of IVW’s total portfolio holdings.

In the next part, we’ll explore the progress of AbbVie’s research and development pipeline in hepatitis C, antiviral, and women’s health areas in 1Q16.

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