AbbVie's Gonzalez: Skyrizi and Rinvoq to become Humira 2.0 — while adding an indication for atopic dermatitis
While AbbVie’s Humira still holds the crown for the best-selling non-Covid drug last year, the Big Pharma has its eyes on Humira’s potential successor. Scratch that, successors.
AbbVie CEO Rick Gonzalez told investors and analysts on the pharma’s Q4 call this morning that AbbVie expects to add several new indications to Skyrizi and Rinvoq’s “list of approved uses” over the next few months. For Skyrizi, they got the FDA’s OK a few weeks ago to use the drug for psoriatic arthritis — and they’re also looking for the thumbs up from the agency on Crohn’s disease.
After that’s done, “Skyrizi and Rinvoq will be commercialized across all of Humira’s major indications — plus atopic dermatitis,” Gonzalez said. To further drive that point home, Gonzalez added a clincher: “We expect combined peak sales for Skyrizi and Rinvoq to exceed the peak revenues achieved by Humira.”
While he didn’t give an exact timeline for when the pharma expects that to happen, that’s big news — we saw AbbVie pivot funds from marketing Humira to those sibling drugs earlier last year, and the two drugs had combined sales of just around $4.6 billion in 2021. While the company claims “substantial growth” in sales numbers for the drugs next year, it has a long way to go to catch up to Humira, which has had some insanely high sales numbers over the last few years.
Humira crossed the $20 billion dollar mark in sales last year, ending up at $20.7 billion after posting $5.3 billion in sales last quarter. Evaluate Vantage predicted last year that Humira would go past the $20 billion dollar mark in 2022 sales, landing at an estimated $20.4 billion.
This year might be Humira’s last big one, as Humira starts to lose exclusivity rights in 2023, which opens the door to competitors and Humira losing market share.
Gonzalez told analysts that the pharma will have earnings guidance ready for Humira in Q3 after getting a better idea for the “erosion curve” that loss of market exclusivity will bring the megablockbuster. However, he said at the moment, people should be expecting 45% erosion, plus or minus 10%. And then expect further decline into 2024.
In other news, the pharma also announced its revenue for 2021: $56 billion. And just a few hours after the Q4 call, the FDA announced that it approved a generic from Viatris for restasis eye drops, a treatment for dry eye disease that is made by now-AbbVie subsidiary Allergan. AbbVie bought out the company back in 2020 for $63 billion.