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Abbott spin-off AbbVie launches

The biopharm company AbbVie has been officially launched after splitting from Abbott.
The company – which takes on Abbott’s biopharm heritage with the brands blockbuster Humira (adalimumab), prostate cancer drug Lupron (leuprolide) and HIV therapy Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) – launched with an estimated $18 billion in annual revenues and a strong commitment to creating shareholder value through long-term growth potential and the continuation of the company’s history of shareholder dividends. 
“Today AbbVie launches with an outstanding portfolio, a solid pipeline and enthusiastic people who will serve patients and deliver growth,” said Richard Gonzalez, chairman of the Board and chief executive of AbbVie. “With those assets and a relentless focus on innovation we intend to create significant value for our shareholders.”
The company’s growth will be fuelled by a pipeline of more than 20 mid- to late-stage clinical programmes in areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, endometriosis, Hepatitis C, multiple myeloma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, plaque psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathies. AbbVie has tripled the number of new molecular entities in its pipeline over the past few years. 
The company, which is headquartered in North Chicago, Illinois, USA, first announced in October 2011 that it would be spinning off its research-based pharmaceuticals business into a separate entity called AbbVie after the former company’s drugs and diversified products units developed into distinct business lines. The new stand-alone Abbott will become a science-based healthcare company with offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals. 
“Our commitment at AbbVie is to build on Abbott’s 125-year heritage and address some of the world’s most serious health issues,” Gonzalez said. “We intend AbbVie’s enduring legacy to be one of finding treatments for conditions thought untreatable and solving problems others thoughts unsolvable.”
The company plans to invest 14% of its sales back into R&D in 2013, which equates to $2.45 billion. 
AbbVie, which has 21,000 employees globally and markets medicines in more than 170 countries, will be listed on the NYSE and Euronext Exchange under the ticker symbol ABBV. 
Just before 10am New York time yesterday, AbbVie shares climbed 1.8% to $34.79 for a valuation of $55 billion.