Over the last number of years, the global healthcare industry has experienced unprecedented change: from the pandemic to COVID-19 vaccines, remote healthcare, and the digital transformation of the healthcare sector.
In light of the Russian/Ukrainian war, some of the biggest names in healthcare, including Eli Lilly and Co, Abbvie Inc, Pfizer Inc, Bayer, Abbot Laboratories, Johnston & Johnston, and Novartis have all announced plans to scale back operations in Russia, following Moscow’s unapproved attack on Ukraine.1 These companies, however, still pledge to continue to supply critical medicines and essential health products to the region.
For the time being, the war in Ukraine has diverted attention away from COVID-19. That doesn’t mean the pandemic has gone away. The United Kingdom has detected a new variant, omicron XE. It has only been detected in 637 patients, a number too small to determine its transmissibility or severity.2
What is known, though, is that it contains a mix of the highly infectious omicron BA.1 strain, which emerged in 2021 and the new BA.2 variant. Since first appearing in the UK in January, it has since been detected in Japan, India, Thailand, and Israel. No cases have yet been reported in the U.S.3
The rise of the XE variant could put pressure on the FDA to decide whether vaccine makers need to develop a new COVID-19 shot for this fall. It’s possible, the U.S. could face another wave of infection as the virus evolves and herd immunity wanes.
Unlike the seasonal predictability of the flu, the uncertainty over the spread and evolution of COVID-19, makes it difficult to determine how or if vaccine variants need to be updated.
In order for potential shots to be made in time for the fall, the FDA will need to decide by June.
Notable Healthcare Companies and Their Upcoming Products
Eli Lilly & Company, leading research-based pharmaceutical company
Eli Lilly & Company is one of the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical companies. The company’s leading drugs include its diabetes products Trulicity and Humalog. But its best-known products include Prozac, Cymbalta, and Zyprexa (neuroscience), Cialis (erective dysfunction), Bamlanivimab, and Bebtelovimab (COVID-19).4
Over 145 years and nearly 100 medicines later, Eli Lilly continues to look for the next great discovery. And with the potential to launch five new products over the next two years, has entered into a robust new product cycle.5
Led by diabetes and obesity prospect tirzepatide, which is up for June approval, analysts believe Lilly could see its revenue advance 40% between 2022 and 2025.6
Abbvie, launching first-in-kind healthcare products
AbbVie Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures, and sells pharmaceuticals worldwide. AbbVie’s biggest brand Humira, which is used to treat arthrosis and Crohn’s disease, generated more than $20 billion last year.7
Other well-known brands include Imbruvica, Venclexta, Botox, Juvederm, Restasis and other key products which include Mavyret, Creon, and Lupron.
Of the 74 products in its pipeline, 75% are first-in-kind.8 Of those, 23 are in Phase 3 while four have been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.9
This should help AbbVie continue to report strong results. In 2021, it reported double digit revenue growth and triple digit earnings growth. Between 2013 and 2021, adjusted net revenues have expanded at a CAGR of 14.7% with adjusted earnings per share registering a CAGR of 19.0%.10
Investing in Global Healthcare with LIFE ETF
The Evolve Global Healthcare Enhanced Yield Fund (LIFE ETF) provides investors with exposure to twenty global blue-chip healthcare companies with a covered call strategy that is actively managed to provide increased yield potential while helping mitigate risk. The LIFE ETF is available in hedged, unhedged and USD classes. For more information, please visit www.evolveetfs.com or download our one-pager about LIFE ETF.
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- “Lily, Novartis join drugmakers in scaling back operations in Russia,” Reuters, March 15, 2022; https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/lilly-stop-exporting-non-essential-drugs-russia-2022-03-15/.
- Gilchrist, K. “UK Covid has detected a new variant. Here’s what we know so far about omicron XE,” CNBC, April 6, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/06/uk-has-detected-a-new-covid-variant-heres-what-we-know-so-far-about-omicron-xe.html.
- Gilchrist, K. “New omicron XE Covid variant first detected in the UK spreads to Japan as cases rise,” CNBC, April 12, 2022; https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/12/new-omicron-xe-variant-detected-in-japan-as-uk-cases-rise-.html.
- “About Lilly,” Eli Lilly and Company, last accessed April 12, 2022; https://www.lilly.com/who-we-are/about-lilly.
- “Medicines in Development,” Eli Lilly and Company, last accessed April 12, 2022; https://www.lilly.com/discovery/clinical-development-pipeline.
- Dunleavy, K. “Eli Lilly, AbbVie positioned for long-term growth, while Bristol Myers Squibb may struggle: analysts,” Fierce Pharma, April 7, 2022; https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/eli-lilly-abbvie-positioned-success-later-decade-while-bristol-myers-squibb-not-analysts.
- “AbbVie Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2021 Financial Results,” AbbVie, February 2, 2022; https://news.abbvie.com/news/press-releases/abbvie-reports-full-year-and-fourth-quarter-2021-financial-results.htm.
- “Key Facts,” AbbVie, last accessed April 12, 2022; https://www.abbvie.com/our-company/key-facts.html.
- “AbbVie Pipeline Update,” AbbVie, February 2, 2022; https://investors.abbvie.com/static-files/886648b5-06d7-4c66-aaa3-7c01a0fd4cbe.
- “J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference,” AbbVie, January 11, 2022; https://investors.abbvie.com/static-files/6eaf137c-4bee-4a5d-8047-33b9f299382d.