AbbVie, an American drugmaker, recently proclaimed that it would purchase Allergan. Reportedly, the firm can finalize this deal for approximately $63 Billion. This move is supposed to give AbbVie the control over the beneficial wrinkle treatment Botox and purchasing time to look for new development before Humira, its blockbuster arthritis treatment, loses the U.S. patent protection.
The pharma company has long been witnessing pressure to expand its portfolio. Since January 2018, due to concerns regarding Humira, the firm’s shares have lost more than a 3rd of their value. Last year, the world’s top-selling medication brought in sales of about $20 Billion. However, it now witnesses competition from low-priced versions in Europe. The firm will also face trouble with the expiration of its patents in the U.S., which is by far the most profitable market, in 2023. Richard Gonzalez, Chief Executive, AbbVie, said that the firm was able to purchase Allergan due to the massive amount of cash generated by Humira.
On a similar note, AbbVie recently came into the news as it announced that the FDA has removed the partial clinical hold on the phase III research, CANOVA, assessing Venclexta (venetoclax). This research was carried out on individuals with refractory/relapsed multiple myeloma. The research is comparing a blend of dexamethasone and Venclexta with CELG Pomalyst (pomalidomide) from Celgene and dexamethasone in individuals with translocation (11;14) deformity. This is said to be the most widespread genetic abnormality in individuals with multiple myeloma.
The FDA’s latest decision followed the firm’s agreement to amend the CANOVA research protocol. This protocol includes additional risk lessening measures, updated futility criteria, and protocol-specified guidelines. The firm will re-commence enrollment in the research at locations where the protocol has been approved. In March 2019, the FDA had placed all researches accessing Venclexta for multiple myeloma treatment on partial clinical hold. At present, all other researches, excluding CANOVA research, are under partial clinical hold.