March 21, 2012 / 3:25 PM / in 6 years

Abbott drugs business to be called AbbVie on split

March 21 (Reuters) - When Abbott Laboratories splits into two companies later this year the branded drugs business will go by the name AbbVie, the company said on Wednesday.

AbbVie was derived by combining the original Abbott name with the Latin root vi, meaning life, the company said.

AbbVie, which will be run by Richard Gonzalez, currently Abbott’s head of global pharmaceuticals, will have nearly $18 billion in annual revenue, about half of that coming from its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira.

Abbott said it expects the split to take place by the end of the year, but has not yet disclosed a proposed symbol under which the new company’s stock will trade.

The diversified healthcare company announced its intention to split the pharmaceuticals business into a separate publicly traded entity in October.

Chief Executive Miles White will continue to lead Abbott, which will retain the medical devices, diagnostics and nutritionals businesses.

The AbbVie logo will be unveiled when the new company is launched, Abbott said.

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