AbbVie Stock breaks rhythm as key executive leaves for Flagship

AbbVie shares tumbled on Wednesday after the company announced the departure of Chairman and Vice Chairman Michael Severino in late May.




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Severino heads to Flagship Pioneering, the biotech creator behind big names like Modern (MRNA), and small players Therapeutic Denali (DNLI) and Seres Therapeutic (MRCB) — just to name a few. He will become associate general manager at Flagship and lead one of its companies.

He is leaving AbbVie after eight years. In his role, he was responsible for research and development and the corporate strategy office. Severino informed AbbVie of his plans on April 8, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

In afternoon trading on the stock market today, AbbVie stock fell 4.7% to near 158.10.

AbbVie Stock plunges on Severino exit

As CEO-Partner, Severino will help Flagship “create and scale breakthrough innovations in human health,” the company said in a press release.

Severino has worked in drug development for over two decades. Prior to AbbVie, he worked at Amgen (AMGN) and Merck (MRK).

“I am thrilled to take on this role and to join the high caliber team of world-class scientists, technologists and business leaders brought together by Flagship Pioneering,” Severino said in a written statement. “I look forward to applying my experience to all phases of drug discovery, development and commercialization at Flagship to help make a meaningful difference for patients. »

During Severino’s tenure, AbbVie added Skyrizi and Rinvoq, two new immunology drugs that could help stem an expected decline in revenue as Humira – the world’s top-selling drug – begins to face cheaper biosimilar rivals to United States. Biosimilars to Humira are likely to shake AbbVie shares.

AbbVie also won Food and Drug Administration approval last year for a migraine prevention pill known as Qulipta, a potential rival to Biohaven Pharmaceuticals‘ (BHVN) Nurtec.

News of Severino’s departure also comes as AbbVie announces the 20th anniversary of the first FDA approval for Botox. At the time, it was approved as a cosmetic treatment for wrinkles. Now it is also used to treat migraines, excessive sweating and other conditions.

Stocks have taken off this year

AbbVie stock has seen strong growth this year, rising nearly 30% to a record high of 175.91 on April 8.

Severino’s impending exit sent stocks tumbling, but the pharmaceutical stock still remains well above its 50- and 200-day moving averages.

On the upside, AbbVie stock also has a composite rating of 95. That puts the stock in the top 5% of all stocks in fundamental and technical metrics, according to IBD Digital. The relative strength rating of 96 means AbbVie shares are trading in the top 4% in 12-month performance.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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