Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Does the Arthritis Market Have Growing Pains? – AbbVie Inc (ABBV)

Page 1 of 2

Research firm Decision Resources predicts that the rheumatoid arthritis market will modestly grow to $15 billion in the next decade. RA patients already have access to more than enough drugs to find an adequate treatment combination, and cheaper alternatives may become available. But pharma companies continue to treat RA like a growth market. Abbott built spinoff AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) around the $9 billion Humira, and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) brought a new class into the mix.

Will the bevy of RA blockbusters run out of steam?

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV)The old guard
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that primarily affects the joints. Patients work closely with doctors to find an adequate treatment regimen — which can help manage the disease and prevent potential co-morbidities including heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

Finding the right RA treatments can prove problematic, so once something works, patients usually stick with that drug for an extended period of time. Generic drug methotrexate has long been the first-line treatment in RA. Methotrexate works for the majority of patients with early-stage RA and offers fewer safety risks than other disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

Methotrexate isn’t always enough, especially in later stages of the condition. Patients might take methotrexate with a tumor necrosis factor, or TNF, inhibitor — the class with the branded blockbusters.

TNF superstars
Humira from AbbVie leads the anti-TNF biologic pack because of its effectiveness and comparatively decent safety profile. The drug had tremendous sales of $9.3 billion last year. AbbVie doesn’t have to split the costs of this drug with anyone, unlike the deals in place for Enbrel and Remicade. But the newly born spinoff is overly dependent on Humira’s continued success.

Remicade has a disadvantage to the other two blockbusters because it’s administered intravenously in a clinical setting, whereas patients can self-inject Humira or Enbrel at home with a pen-style device. Despite this inconvenience, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) reported net sales of $2.1 billion for Remicade last year, and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) reported $6.1 billion. The companies fought a legal battle over which company would get what when it came to this drug. When the dust settled, Johnson & Johnson stood on the winning side. Merck’s looking for any victories it can get now that the blockbuster Singulair fell off patent.

Enbrel had 2012 revenues of $957 million for Pfizer and $4.2 billion for Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN). Pfizer was marketing the drug outside the U.S. and Canada while receiving a percentage of annual gross profits from Amgen. The North American collaboration agreement expires this fall. Amgen will then pay a declining percentage of profits for three years.

Amgen might celebrate decreased payments, but Pfizer’s up to RA plans of its own.

Page 1 of 2

Biotech Stock Alert - 20% Guaranteed Return in One Year

Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Piling Into

One of 2015's best hedge funds and two insiders snapped up shares of this medical device stock recently. We believe its transformative and disruptive device will storm the $3+ billion market and help it achieve 500%-1000% gains in 3 years.

Get your FREE REPORT and the details of our 20% return guarantee today.

Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Loading Comments...

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 102% in 3 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!