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What Are the Key Growth Drivers for AbbVie in 2019?

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Feb. 8 2019, Updated 10:31 a.m. ET

Growth drivers

AbbVie (ABBV) expects its leading immunology asset, Humira, and its hematology-oncology franchise, which is made up of Imbruvica and Venclexta, to report growth of close to $1.0 billion in 2019.

To maintain its dominant position in immunology, the company has been working on advancing its next-generation immunology therapies, including risankizumab and upadacitinib. On its fourth-quarter earnings conference call, AbbVie stated that it had demonstrated the superiority of its investigational immunology drugs over Humira for different types of patients, such as bio-naïve patients and difficult-to-treat patients. These next-generation drugs are expected to launch in 2019. AbbVie is also focused on advancing other multibillion-dollar opportunities, such as Mavyret and Orilissa, while maintaining its base business made up of Lupron, Synthroid, Duodopa, and Creon in 2019.

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Projections for 2019

On its fourth-quarter earnings conference call, AbbVie guided for 7% YoY (year-over-year) revenue growth for Humira in US markets, while it said it expected its international revenue to fall 30% YoY in 2019.

In the fourth quarter, the drug reported global sales of $4.9 billion, a YoY operational rise of 1.4% driven mainly by robust demand in the US market. Humira reported global sales of $19.9 billion in 2018, a YoY rise of 7.4% on an operational basis. According to AbbVie’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the declining international market revenue trajectory for Humira is the result of direct biosimilar competition for the drug in Europe and other markets, which make up three-quarters of its international market business (or one-quarter of its total business). To learn more about Humira’s performance in 2018, read Why Humira Revenues in International Markets Are Expected to Fall.

On its fourth-quarter earnings conference call, AbbVie guided for $5.5 billion in revenue in its hematology-oncology franchise in 2019. The company expects Imbruvica’s global sales to be $4.4 billion, while Venclexta’s sales are expected to be close to $725 million in 2019.

On its fourth-quarter earnings conference call, AbbVie guided for $3.3 billion in revenue in its hepatitis C franchise and $200 million worth of sales for Orilissa in 2019.

Next, we’ll discuss Celgene’s growth drivers in greater detail.

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