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After Roche, BMS surprises, what does AbbVie need to do to win FTC clearance for Allergan buy?

June 26, 2019 / Angus Liu

With mergers and acquisitions come antitrust reviews. And with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cracking down on pharma deals these days, it’s only natural to ask whether AbbVie’s proposed $63 billion acquisition of Allergan could face anti-competition scrutiny, despite across-board complaint from industry watchers over the lack of similarities between the two firms. AbbVie’s answer to that question is simple. “We don’t anticipate any significant issues with the FTC approval process,” AbbVie’s Chief Legal Officer Laura Schumacher said during a briefing on Tuesday. But she did say “there are a few small product overlaps that we’ve agreed to divest promptly.” Where exactly could the ax fall? Credit Suisse analyst Vamil Divan has some ideas. Based on his review of the two companies’ portfolios, Divan highlighted two Allergan drugs that could be jettisoned: brazikumab and Zenpep. Brazikumab is an IL-23 inhibitor, whic...