Sector News

AbbVie CFO Chase spearheaded its Abbott spinoff and Imbruvica buy—and now he's retiring

October 23, 2018
Life sciences

AbbVie has been on quite the ride since its spinoff from Abbott, largely thanks to booming growth for its megablockbuster Humira. Now, the company’s chief financial officer is nearly ready to step aside.

Bill Chase, AbbVie’s CFO since the company’s 2013 spinoff, will retire in the middle of 2019, the company reported in an SEC filing. Starting today, he’s serving as executive vice president, finance and administration.

With the move, Robert Michael is taking over Chase’s position. Michael has been AbbVie’s controller since March 2017 and served as treasurer from 2015 to 2016. He joined Abbott in 1993.

Since its break from Abbott, AbbVie has significantly grown sales of its top drug Humira, from $10.6 billion in 2013 to $18.4 billion last year, and snapped up co-marketing rights to Imbruvica from Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Analysts believe Humira will pass the $20 billion mark in the coming years, even as it faces new biosimilars in Europe, and Imbruvica carries 2022 sales projections topping $8 billion.

Humira biosimilars launched in the EU this week, but under several patent deals AbbVie has inked with biosimilar makers, copycats won’t hit the U.S. until 2023. Amgen has rights to the earliest U.S. biosimilar launch, set for January that year.

The company has expanded into other treatment areas since its spinoff, notably with 2015’s Pharmacyclics buy. With that deal, AbbVie secured half of Imbruvica, a cancer drug boasting numerous indications—including a new one approved in August—and it’s been posting growth figures quarter after quarter. AbbVie shares the drug with Johnson & Johnson.

AbbVie has also seen success with Mavyret, its new pan-genotypic hepatitis C drug that’s been beating expectations and stealing share from Gilead Sciences. In the second quarter, AbbVie’s hep C sales were $973 million.

Just as Chase was, Michael will be charged with financial strategy as AbbVie’s hoped-for growth continues, but he isn’t likely to be facing a major integration like the Pharmacyclics deal. Though CEO Richard Gonzalez said earlier this year that AbbVie wouldn’t turn away an M&A prospect of $20 billion-plus if the right one came along, he figures valuations are too inflated to make that a likely bet. Instead, the company is scouting smaller, bolt-on deals if the right assets pop up, Gonzalez said.

Meanwhile, before Humira biosimilars reach the U.S. market, AbbVie plans to launch 20 new products or new “major indications” for existing drugs, CEO Richard Gonzalez said this summer.

By Eric Sagonowsky

Source: Fierce Pharma

comments closed

Related News

January 23, 2022

UCB to acquire Zogenix

Life sciences

UCB (Euronext: UCB) and Zogenix (NASDAQ: ZGNX) announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which UCB would acquire Zogenix, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company commercializing and developing therapies for rare diseases.

January 23, 2022

argenx announces VYVGART™ approval in Japan for the treatment of generalized myasthenia gravis

Life sciences

argenx SE, a global immunology company committed to improving the lives of people suffering from severe autoimmune diseases, announced that Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved VYVGART™ (efgartigimod alfa) intravenous infusion for the treatment of adult patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) who do not have sufficient response to steroids or non-steroidal immunosuppressive therapies (ISTs).

January 23, 2022

GlaxoSmithKline rejects Unilever’s $68B consumer health buyout offer, but a bigger bid is brewing

Life sciences

GSK has rejected three offers from Unilever to buy GSK’s consumer health unit, the company said Saturday. The latest offer from the fellow U.K. consumer goods giant, received Dec. 20 for a total value of 50 billion pounds ($68 billion), “fundamentally undervalued” the business and its prospects, GSK said.

Send this to a friend