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This Stock Gets a Gold Medal for Being the Best Blue Chip Biotech

By Motley Fool Staff - Feb 17, 2018 at 10:45AM

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If there were a biotech stock Olympics, this company would win the gold.

With worry over its top-selling Humira fading and clarity into plans supporting its future growth, AbbVie Inc. (ABBV -0.68%) is racking up medal-winning returns for investors.

In this clip from The Motley Fool's Industry Focus: Healthcare, analyst Kristine Harjes and contributor Todd Campbell explain how AbbVie's efforts to overcome future headwinds due to Humira competition and increase its sales and profit deserve a gold medal.

A full transcript follows the video.

This video was recorded on Feb. 14, 2018.

Kristine Harjes: Do you want to take us to the second to last category of the day?

Todd Campbell: Absolutely. This is a stock that I could have probably chosen as a winner in the dividend category as well, but didn't. For my third pick, I'm giving the best blue-chip biotech gold medal to AbbVie. You and I talked a little bit about this company on last week's show, so I won't go too much in-depth into it. But, one of the reasons that I like this company is that they've really provided investors with a lot of good clarity over the past year into where their business could be going over the course of the next five to 10 years. I think a lot of people have been worried up until now about Humira, which is the company's best-selling drug, it accounts for 65% of their revenue, so they should be worried about patent expiration on that drug. But last fall, the company actually won a very important patent decision that then allowed it to negotiate a non-exclusive license for one of the competitors that would launch a biosimilar to Humira. And that is going to delay the entrance of that biosimilar until 2023. As part of that, they are then able to do a little bit of long range planning and say, we think now Humira sales may grow from $18.4 billion today to $21 billion by 2020. And not only do we get the extra few years of all that revenue, but it gives us extra time to launch other drugs that can more than make up for any fall off in revenue once those biosimilars do make it to market. They have Elagolix, which is an endometriosis drug that's under FDA review, they have data coming soon for Rova-T, which is a solid tumor drug that has billion-dollar potential, and they have two other drugs in autoimmune disease for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis that could have $6.5 and $5 billion in peak sales opportunity respectively. Given how much money the company is already generating in operating cash, and the potential to move the needle in the future, I think this is a top-shelf gold medal winner when it comes to big cap biotech.

Harjes: As you mentioned, we just covered this company in even more depth last week, so I'll refrain from adding too many details that might just repeat last week's content. But go check that out, listeners, if you haven't listened to it yet.

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