AbbVie's Botox, dermal fillers face slowdown jitters

(Reuters) -Demand for AbbVie Inc’s Botox anti-wrinkle injection and the popular facial filler Juvederm would be hit well into the next year by inflation and low consumer confidence, the company said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A vial of Botox, owned by AbbVie, is seen next to its packaging in a photo illustration in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Abbvie’s shares were down 4.3% at $146.69 in morning trade, wiping over $12 billion in market capitalization.

The company, which also makes one of the world’s bestselling drugs – Humira, is one of the rare few large drugmakers directly exposed to inflationary pressures.

AbbVie lowered its full-year sales forecast for its portfolio of “medical aesthetic” products used in cosmetic procedures by $600 million to $5.3 billion, but said it expects the impact to be “transient” after a near-term hit.

Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez said the company’s aesthetics business would face an impact for a significant part of 2023.

“As consumer confidence improves, we would once again expect the market growth to accelerate. Our aesthetics portfolio experienced a rapid and sustained recovery following the 2008, 2009 recession.”

AbbVie gained the aesthetic products through its $63 billion deal for Allergan, as it sought to sustain sales growth once rheumatoid Humira goes off-patent in the United States next year.

AbbVie said its contract negotiations with insurers and pharmacy benefit managers on Humira for the next year were proceeding well, but noted that the pricing of those rivals would determine the drug’s sales next year.

Sales of Botox for cosmetic uses came in at $637 million during the third quarter, below estimates of $640.17 million, while sales of Juvederm were $352 million, also missing estimates of $360 million, according to Refinitiv data.

Also weighing on sales, AbbVie now expects 2022 sales of $2 billion from leukemia drug Venclexta, from $2.3 billion previously, due to soft demand.

Net revenue rose 3.3% to $14.81 billion, but fell short of estimates of $14.91 billion.

However, AbbVie earned $3.66 per share, excluding one-off items, beating estimates of $3.57 per share.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Shailesh Kuber