Shares of biopharmaceutical firm AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) jumped 2.1% after the company received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its rheumatoid arthritis drug Rinvoq. The approval came after the treatment met all the primary and secondary endpoints in the Phase 3 trials.
Rinvoq is likely to hit the US markets as early as later this month.
Affecting almost 1.3 million people in the US, rheumatoid arthritis causes the immune system to mistakenly attacks joints, damaging the bones and tissues.
The approval comes at a crucial time for the North Chicago, Illinois-based firm, which has been seeing weakness in its flagship drug Humira, used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, especially in Europe.
During the most recently reported quarter, revenues from the Immunology unit fell 5.2%, as sales of Humira dipped 6% year-over-year. During the quarter, Humira still accounted for almost 60% of its total revenues.
The company is also diversifying its portfolio with a recently announced that it would acquire Irish competitor Allergan (NYSE: AGN) for $63 billion. Immediately following the deal, AbbVie shareholders are expected to have approximately 83% stake in AbbVie on a fully diluted basis, and the rest with Allergan shareholders.
AbbVie shares have tumbled 28% so far this year.