• By Kanaga Rajan
    Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Glaucoma, Retina/Vitreous, Uveitis

    AbbVie has agreed to acquire Allergan for $63 billion, unlocking key opportunities for growth on both sides of the deal.

    The combined company will merge AbbVie’s commercial strength with Allergan’s diverse pharmaceutical program, achieving “unique and complementary strategic objectives,” said Richard A. Gonzalez, AbbVie’s chairman and chief executive officer, who will remain in place after the transition.

    Allergan brings a broad portfolio of top-selling drugs, including the dry eye drug Restasis and the macular edema implant Ozurdex. The company is also in the process of filing for FDA approval of Bimatoprost SR, an experimental sustained-release implant for ocular hypertension.

    This diversity is expected to ease AbbVie’s reliance on its arthritis and uveitis treatment, adalimumab (Humira)—the world’s best-selling drug—as biosimilars crop up in Europe and U.S. patent protection nears expiration in 2023.

    Both companies say they expect the merger to spur new growth across eye care, immunology, hematologic oncology, medical aesthetics, neuroscience, women’s health and virology.

    “With 2019 annual combined revenue of approximately $48 billion, scale in more than 175 countries, an industry-leading R&D pipeline and robust cash flows, our combined company will have the opportunity to make even bigger contributions to global health than either can alone,” said Brent Saunders, Allergan’s chairman and chief executive officer, who will transition to AbbVie’s board.

    As the transaction moves forward, AbbVie will remain in Delaware, with principle executive offices in North Chicago. The deal is expected to close in early 2020.