AbbVie Inc.

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AbbVie Inc.
S&P 100 component
S&P 500 component
Founded2013; 6 years ago (2013)
HeadquartersLake Bluff, Illinois, United States
Area served
(170+ Countries)
Key people
Richard A. Gonzalez
(Chairman & CEO)
ProductsPharmaceutical drugs
RevenueIncrease US$32.753 billion (2018)[1]
Increase US$9.592 billion (2017)[1]
Decrease US$5.309 billion (2017)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$70.786 billion (2017)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$5.097 billion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
~29,000 (January 2018)[1]

AbbVie is an American publicly traded biopharmaceutical company founded in 2013. It originated as a spin-off of Abbott Laboratories.


On October 19, 2011, Abbott Laboratories announced its plan to separate into two publicly traded companies. The "new" Abbott Laboratories would specialize in diversified products including medical devices, diagnostic equipment and nutrition products, while AbbVie would operate as a research-based pharmaceutical manufacturer.[2] The separation was effective January 1, 2013, and AbbVie was officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ABBV) on January 2, 2013.[3]

According to Miles White, CEO at the time, the purpose of the split was to allow markets to value the two businesses separately; White said that investors would "benefit from two fundamentally different investment opportunities with distinct strategic profiles and business priorities."[4] Some investors were concerned that the split was done to protect the value of the device business from the loss of value facing the drug division due to the imminent expiration of patents on Humira, which accounted for about half of the drug division's revenue.[4]

As of December 2015, the company employed in excess of 28,000 globally, and provided products to individuals in more than 170 countries.[5]


In January 2014, the company acquired ImmuVen for an undisclosed sum.[6] On September 3, 2014, AbbVie and Infinity Pharmaceuticals announced that they had entered into a global collaboration to develop and commercialize duvelisib, Infinity's PI3K inhibitor for the treatment of patients with cancer. On the same day, AbbVie and Calico announced that they had entered into a R&D collaboration intended to discover, develop and bring to market new therapies for patients with age-related diseases including neurodegeneration and cancer. Calico (California Life Company) is an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary led by Arthur D. Levinson (former Chairman and CEO of Genentech) and Hal V. Barron (former Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Genentech) that is focused on aging and age-related diseases.[7]

In October 2014, after a long negotiation, AbbVie stopped its efforts to acquire Shire, which would have been one of the largest M&A deals of that year and one of the largest tax inversions in history, due to changes in the US tax code by the US Treasury; AbbVie had to pay a $1.6 billion breakup fee.[8]

On March 4, 2015, AbbVie announced its agreement to acquire the oncology firm Pharmacyclics and its treatment for blood cancers, ibrutinib; AstraZeneca had also been bidding to acquire Pharmacyclics.[9][10] Under the terms of the transaction, AbbVie agreed to pay $261.25 per share as a mix of cash and AbbVie equity. The acquisition valued at approximately $21 billion was completed on May 26, 2015.[11] The Pharmacyclics name was retained, and it operates as a subsidiary of AbbVie from its previous Sunnyvale, California, headquarters.[12] On June 3, 2015, AbbVie and Halozyme Therapeutics announced that they had entered into a global collaboration and licensing agreement to develop and commercialize products that combine AbbVie’s treatments and Halozyme’s ENHANZE drug-delivery technology, this was terminated in November 2016.[13]

On 28 April 2016, the company announced it would acquire Stemcentrx for up to $9.8 billion.[14] A day later, the company announced an expansion of a two and a half year old cystic fibrosis deal with Galapagos, potentially doubling milestone payments to $600 million.[15]


On February 10, 2016, AbbVie and Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Synlogic announced a multi-year R&D collaboration. Synlogic is a synthetic biology company built on research from the labs of James Collins and Tim Lu at MIT. As part of the collaboration, AbbVie is getting worldwide rights to Synlogic’s probiotic-based technology for treating inflammatory bowel disease, and the research teams will focus on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.[16] In April 2016, the company partnered with the University of Chicago to investigate a number of areas of oncology: breast, lung, prostate, colorectal and hematological cancers.[17] In the same month the company announced it would co-commercialize Argenx's preclinical immunotherapy, ARGX-115. ARGX-115 is a first-in-class immunotherapy targeting GARP (glycoprotein A repetitions predominant), a membrane protein believed to enhance the immunosuppressive effects of T cells.[18] The company also announced a deal to co-develop/commercialize at least one of CytomX Probody's conjugates against CD71 (transferrin receptor 1).[19]


According to the Wall Street Journal as of January 2016 ibrutinib, a specialty drug, cost US$116,600 to $155,400 a year wholesale in the United States. In spite of discounts and medical insurance, the prohibitive price causes some patients to not fill their prescriptions.[20] AbbVie estimates global sales of the drug at $1 billion in 2016 and $5 billion in 2020.[20]

In 2018 it started litigation against NHS England in the Technology and Construction Court claiming that they breached procurement rules and had not treated the company fairly during what was described as "the single largest medicines procurement ever done by the NHS" when seeking suppliers for hepatitis C treatments.[21] In 2019, a UK court dismissed AbbVie's case against the NHS. [22]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "AbbVie Inc. 2017 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. January 2018.
  2. ^ "Abbott Labs to Split Into 2 Companies". The New York Times. October 19, 2011. Retrieved October 19, 2011.
  3. ^ "Abbott Completes Separation of Research-Based Pharmaceuticals Business". AbbVie Inc. January 2, 2013. Archived from the original on January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "More than splitting pills: Health care giant Abbott Laboratories ready to spin off AbbVie". Chicago Tribune. December 30, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "AbbVie - About Us". Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  6. ^ "AbbVie - Acquisitions - crunchbase".
  7. ^ "Google-Backed Calico Joins AbbVie in Up to $1.5B Collaboration". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. September 3, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. ^ Gelles, David (2014). "After Tax Inversion Rules Change, AbbVie and Shire Agree to Terminate Their Deal". The New York Times (online, October 20 ed.). Zacks Equity Research.
  9. ^ Nisen, Max (2015). "AstraZeneca Chases AbbVie, Cheaply". Chicago Business (online, December 17 ed.). Crain's. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  10. ^ Staff (1 April 2015). "AbVie Acquires Oncology Drug Firm Pharmacyclics for $21B". News: Industry Watch. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (Paper). 35 (5): 10.
  11. ^ Rockoff, Jonathan D.; Loftus, Peter (5 March 2015). "AbbVie to Buy Pharmacyclics in $21 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 June 2015.(subscription required)
  12. ^ "AbbVie (ABBV) Announces Completion of Pharmacyclics Acquisition". May 26, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  13. ^ "Abbvie Terminates Development Deal with Halozyme - GEN". GEN.
  14. ^ "AbbVie to Acquire Stemcentrx for Up to $9.8B". GEN.
  15. ^ "Galapagos, AbbVie Expand CF Collaboration to Up-to-$600M". GEN.
  16. ^ "AbbVie, Maker of World's No. 1 Drug, Bets Synthetic Biology Startup Can Raise the Bar". February 10, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "AbbVie, University of Chicago Launch Cancer Research Alliance". GEN.
  18. ^ "AbbVie to Co-Develop argenx's Cancer Immunotherapy ARGX-115 - GEN News Highlights - GEN". GEN.
  19. ^ "AbbVie to Co-Commercialize CytomX's Probody Drug Conjugates". GEN.
  20. ^ a b Walker, Joseph (1 January 2016). "Patients Struggle With High Drug Prices". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  21. ^ "NHS England taken to court over 'largest ever medicines procurement'". Health Service Journal. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  22. ^ Talha Burki.UK court dismisses AbbVie's legal challenge against the NHS The Lancet. Volume 393, ISSUE 10169, P307-308, January 26, 2019

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