REUTERS: Drugmaker AbbVie Inc posted better-than-expected quarterly sales and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast on Friday, as demand for its Botox and other treatments showed signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Lockdowns and pandemic fears had forced people to delay non-essential surgeries earlier this year, but with restrictions easing, demand for treatments and procedures have picked up.
Botox, which AbbVie gained through its US$64 billion acquisition of Allergan in May, suffered an initial hit during the peak of the health crisis, but demand has since improved.
Third-quarter sales for its cosmetic use only fell 2.2per cent year-on-year to US$393 million, recovering from a 43.1per cent plunge in the second quarter, and beat analysts' estimate of US$364.4 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
AbbVie's portfolio of aesthetic medicines such as Botox was showing a "V-shaped recovery," Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said in a statement.
The company's other treatments, including rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, the world's best-selling drug, and new psoriasis therapy, Skyrizi, also outperformed Wall Street estimates in the third quarter.
This comes even as Humira has come under pressure from cheaper rivals in Europe and faces patent expiration in the United States, its biggest market, in 2023.
Humira brought in sales of US$5.14 billion and AbbVie's newer psoriasis medicine Skyrizi generated US$435 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30.
In September, Oxford University said it would study whether Humira was an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.
AbbVie forecast a combined company 2020 adjusted earnings of US$10.47 to US$10.49 per share, compared with US$10.35 to US$10.45 per share forecast earlier.
Net earnings jumped 22.5per cent to US$2.31 billion in the reported quarter, due to the addition of Allergan's business.
Total sales rose 52.2per cent to US$12.90 billion, beating the average analyst estimate of US$12.72 billion.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)