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Abbott christens new pharma company AbbVie

Will spin out the research-based pharmaceutical company by the end of this year

Abbott Laboratories has decided on AbbVie as the name for the research-based pharmaceutical company it intends to spin out by the end of this year.

Abbott announced last October that it intended to separate into two publicly-traded companies, one with its pharmaceutical assets and the other with a diversified range of medical products, including nutritionals, medical devices and diagnostics.

AbbVie's name is derived from a combination of Abbott and "vie", which references the Latin root "vi" meaning life, said the company.

"The beginning of the name connects the new company to Abbott and its heritage of pioneering science," said Richard Gonzalez, who was previously named as chief executive of the new pharma company.

"The 'vie' calls attention to the vital work the company will continue to advance to improve the lives of people around the world," he added.

The AbbVie logo and graphic identity will be unveiled when the new company is officially launched. Meanwhile, the Abbott brand name is staying with the medical products company, which will have around $22bn in annual revenues.

AbbVie's product portfolio will account for almost $18bn in annual revenue, and include major brand such as Humira (adalimumab) for arthritis, Trilipix/Tricor (fenofibrate) and Niaspan (niacin) for high cholesterol, HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and prostate cancer therapy Lupron (leuprolide acetate).

Analysts have suggested that AbbVie will face a challenging few early years, as it stands to lose patent protection for Tricor, Niaspan and Humira between now and 2016.

The new company will also absorb R&D assets in therapeutic areas such as hepatitis C, immunology, chronic kidney disease, women's health, oncology and neuroscience, which will "help drive future growth", according to the company.

It will start life with four projects in phase III, including gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist elagolix, partnered with Neurocrine Biosciences and in testing for endometriosis, as well as bardoxolone for chronic kidney disease, cancer drug elotuzumab and daclizumab for multiple sclerosis.

22nd March 2012

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