Abbott spotlights blockbuster hopefuls in pitching spinoff

Abbott Labs' pharma-designated CEO, Richard Gonzalez, spent a good part of Friday painting a bright future for Abbott's proposed spinoff. Abbott, of course, already has a multibillion-dollar franchise in Humira, and Gonzalez pointed to three prospective blockbusters in the pipeline: Bardoxolone, a chronic kidney disease drug it's partnered with Reata Pharmaceuticals on; its promising hepatitis C drug (with some $2 billion in prospective annual sales); and a new therapy for multiple sclerosis. Gonzalez noted that Abbott has been in talks with Reata on a possible co-promotion deal for bardoxolone in the U.S., where Reata currently holds full rights. But Abbott has never been known for great development work, leading some analysts to hedge on its future. "To me, it's a show-me stock in terms of the pipeline: Show me you can take something you've developed and turn it into a billion-dollar drug," said Tim Hoyle, director of research at Haverford Financial Services. Article

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