Is Allergan unloading 2 drugs enough to sell FTC on AbbVie buy? Analysts arent so sure

Allergan has confirmed it will hive off two drugs so that AbbVies 63 billion dollars takeover offer could pass U.S. antitrust scrutiny. But recent regulatory decision and indecision on pharma deals has analysts worried whether that would be enough. In an investor Q and A published Tuesday, Allergan said it will sell brazikumab and Zenpep as part of the merger process, “irrespective of whether such divestitures are required by the regulators.” Those two have been suspected for-sale targets since the deal was announced, given their overlap with existing AbbVie drugs in their respective fields. Brazikumab and AbbVie’s recently approved psoriasis therapy Skyrizi are both IL-23 inhibitors. Allergan is testing brazikumab in phase 2/3 for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, just as AbbVie aims for the exact same indication as a label add-on for Skyrizi. Besides, AbbVie’s Humira already has a tight grip on the inflammatory bowel disease market. Meanwhile, Zenpep competes directly against AbbVie’s Creon as pancreatic replacement enzymes. Because Creon is making more money than Zenpep—with 2019 first-half sales of $484 million versus $133 million—the Allergan drug ended up on the chopping board.

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