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AbbVie raises annual profit forecast as Botox demand rebounds



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign stands outside a Abbvie facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

(Reuters) – Drugmaker AbbVie Inc (NYSE:) raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast on Friday, as demand soared for its Botox anti-wrinkle injection in the second quarter following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Sales of Botox for cosmetic use rose two-fold to $584 million in the quarter, outpacing estimates of $483 million, as vaccinations encouraged people to step out more and resume non-essential procedures after being holed up at home for months.

The company acquired the drug last year as part of its $63 billion purchase of Allergan (NYSE:), a move aimed at offsetting the hit from the looming loss of U.S. patents for the world’s best-selling drug Humira, expected in 2023.

“The Allergan integration … continues to track exceptionally well, with both the neuroscience and aesthetics portfolios delivering double-digit sequential growth,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said.

AbbVie has also been focused on expanding the use of plaque psoriasis drug Skryizi and rheumatoid arthritis treatment Rinvoq to more patients to soften the expected blow to Humira sales.

Sales of Skyrizi rose two-fold in the quarter to $674 million, while sales of Rinvoq also doubled to $378 million.

Sales of Humira, which is already facing copycat rivals in Europe, rose 4.8% to $5.07 billion, in line with analysts’ estimates of $5.08 billion, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Sales of the drug rose 7.1% in the United States and fell 6% on a reported basis in international markets.

AbbVie said it expects full-year adjusted earnings between $12.52 and $12.62 per share, compared with its previous forecast of $12.37 to $12.57 per share.

The company swung to a profit of $766 million, or 42 cents per share, in the second quarter, from a loss of $738 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.

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