AbbVie is a pharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and markets both biopharmaceuticals and small molecule drugs. It originated in 2013 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. The separation was effective January 1, 2013, and AbbVie was officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ABBV) on January 2, 2013.
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." 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.
As of December 2015, the company employed in excess of 28,000 globally, and provided products to individuals in more than 170 countries.
In January 2014, the company acquired ImmuVen for an undisclosed sum. 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.
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; Abbvie had to pay a $1.6 billion breakup fee.
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. 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. The Pharmacyclics name was retained, and it operates as a subsidiary of AbbVie from its previous Sunnyvale, California, headquarters. 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.
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. AbbVie estimates global sales of the drug at $1 billion in 2016 and $5 billion in 2020.
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. 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. 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. The company also announced a deal to co-develop/commercialize at least one of CytomX Probody's conjugates against CD71 (transferrin receptor 1).
On 28 April 2016, the company announced it would acquire Stemcentrx for up to $9.8 billion. 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.
The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers and acquisitions and historical predecessors (this is not a comprehensive list):
As of 2017 AbbVie shares are mainly held by institutional investors (Capital Group Companies, The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, State Street Corporation and others).