Company: Abbott Labs
Headquarters: Abbott Park, IL
R&D spending fiscal 2011: $4.1 billion overall
Priorities and Projects: Abbott's 2011 $4.1 billion R&D spending jumps from $3.7 billion in 2010, which in turn leaped from $2.7 billion in 2009. But Abbott is a bit different from some of the companies on our list because it is also a pharma player and manufacturer of nutritional products. In fact, the company notes in its 10-K that much of its R&D expenditures concentrate on proprietary pharma products. That said, R&D expenditures were $403 million for the vascular products segment, for example, and $325 million for the diagnostics products segment.
Abbott lists a number of vascular products currently in development. The company is looking for regulatory approvals in the U.S. and Europe to come either this year or next for Xience Xpedition, its next-generation drug-eluting stent. The company also touts new coronary and endovascular guide wires, and the Absolute Pro and Omnilink Elite stent for iliac artery disease in the U.S. The company celebrated FDA approval of the Absolute Pro in March. Although cardiovascular products are huge for Abbott, it also is pursuing optical products and has a number in the pipeline. Among them: the Synchrony intraocular lens, gained from its 2009 buyout of Visiogen; advanced IOLs for astigmatism and presbyopia; and IOL insertion systems. In molecular diagnostics, the company is crafting a number of oncology and infectious disease assays. And in diabetes, it is developing an updated hospital blood glucose monitoring system and hopes to file regulatory submissions next year.
Last year, Abbott announced that it would separate into two publicly traded companies: a medical products division, which will retain the Abbott name, and a drug division known as AbbVie.
(Abbott's FreeStyle InsuLinx, introduced in 2011, is the foundation for the company's diabetes pipeline.)