Humira Will Remain a Key Growth Driver for AbbVie in 2018



Humira revenue guidance

AbbVie (ABBV) expects Humira to report year-over-year (or YoY) growth in its US market sales in the range of 13%–14% in 2018. This performance is expected to be driven by the drug’s continued uptake as a first-line treatment option for multiple autoimmune conditions.

The company also expects Humira’s annual sales in the international markets to peak at ~$6.2 billion in 2018. In its guidance, AbbVie has assumed the current foreign currency fluctuation rate as well as the impact of probable direct biosimilar competition in 4Q18.

The above diagram shows AbbVie’s expectations for Humira’s earnings of nearly $21.0 billion globally in 2020. The company believes that this drug will continue to be a significant cash contributor until 2025 and beyond.

Humira is expected to enable AbbVie retain its market-leading position despite increasing competition from other immunology players such as Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Pfizer (PFE), and Celgene (CELG).

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Humira’s 4Q17 performance

In 4Q17, Humira reported total sales of close to $4.9 billion, a YoY rise of 14.0% on a reported basis and of 12.6% on an operational basis. The drug reported sales of $3.3 billion in the US market in 4Q17, a YoY rise of ~15.1%. This rise was driven by an increase of nearly 10% in sales volumes of the drug coupled with a YoY price rise. Humira also witnessed sales of close to $1.6 billion in international markets, a YoY rise of 11.7% on a reported basis and of 6.5% on an operational basis.

Humira benefited from the timing of contracts in certain markets in 4Q17, which added almost 2.5% to the drug’s YoY growth rate.

Humira guidance for 1Q18

AbbVie expects Humira’s sales US market sales to rise in the low teens on a YoY basis in 1Q18. The company expects the drug’s operational sales in international markets to rise YoY at a mid-single-digit rate in 1Q18. In the event that foreign exchange rates remain constant at their current levels in 1Q18, AbbVie expects Humira’s global sales to rise in the mid-teens YoY.

In the next article, we’ll discuss AbbVie’s immunology research programs in greater detail.


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