A display screen shows the share worth for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the ground of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Natalie Grover and Akankshita Mukhopadhyay

ABBV.N) reported quarterly adjusted income that missed analysts’ estimates as weaker-than-expected gross sales of its hepatitis C remedy and most cancers remedy overshadowed robust U.S. demand for its flagship drug, Humira.

The firm’s shares had been down 2.57 % at $59.7 in afternoon buying and selling on Friday, wiping out $2.55 billion of its market worth.

AbbVie has sharpened its concentrate on oncology to scale back its reliance on Humira. The firm purchased Pharmacyclics and its half-ownership of the leukemia drug, Imbruvica, for $21 billion in 2015.

Sales of the drug, which can also be offered by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), fell wanting fourth-quarter expectations, partly because of a listing challenge, analysts stated.

However, AbbVie stated it expects 2017 Imbruvica gross sales of $2.4 billion, up from $1.83 billion final 12 months.

Sales of Abbvie’s hepatitis C remedy, Vikiera Pak, additionally missed estimates, harm by competitors from Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) and Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N).

The firm forecast full-year Vikiera gross sales of $1 billion, beneath the $1.52 billion the drug raked in final 12 months.

The gross sales expectations come when traders are already jittery about looming biosimilar competitors for Humira, the world’s top-selling drug.

U.S. gross sales of the autoimmune remedy got here in effectively forward of analysts’ estimate within the fourth quarter, however worldwide income was hit by oblique biosimilar competitors in Europe and a powerful greenback, analysts stated.

AbbVie, which is attempting to dam the U.S. launch of a Humira biosimilar developed by Amgen Inc (AMGN.O), stated it expects biosimilar launches within the overwhelming majority of nations in 2018.

Chief Financial Officer Bill Chase stated the corporate anticipated mid-to-high teenagers development for Humira within the United States for 2017.

“I don’t see anything on the horizon … that would give me pause as to the fundamental trajectory of Humira,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez stated on a post-earnings name.

AbbVie has already negotiated with U.S. insurers for Humira protection in 2017 and 2018.

The firm earlier this month stated it will restrict worth hikes to yearly and maintain them underneath 10 %, as political and payer scrutiny into drug pricing intensifies.

AbbVie has already hiked costs on a majority of its merchandise for 2017, the corporate stated on the decision.

The firm has raised Humira’s gross worth by eight.4 %, in keeping with Evercore ISI.

Adjusted quarterly income of $6.78 billion got here in beneath analysts’ common estimate of $6.91 billion, in keeping with Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/.

AbbVie stated it anticipated 2017 adjusted earnings of $5.44 to $5.54 per share, in contrast with analysts’ estimate of $5.47.

(Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay and Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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