In its first quarter as an independent company, AbbVie has posted a strong set of financials as sales of its anti-inflammatory blockbuster Humira continued to soar.

AbbVie, the drugs business spun out of Abbott Laboratories, noted that net income was $968 million, up 9.6%, while revenues climbed 3.7% to $4.33 billion. Over half of that came from Humira (adalimumab), which is approved for indications covering rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis; the drug contributed $2.24 billion, a rise of 16.0%.

As for the company’s lipids franchise, TriCor (fenofibrate) and TriLipix (fenofibric acid) saw sales sink 49.6% to $128 million, hit by the loss of patent protection. Niaspan (niacin) brought in $186 million, a decrease of 2.6%, while the respiratory treatment Synagis (palivizumab),  the AstraZeneca drug sold by AbbVie outside the USA, dipped 1.4% to $345 million.

Revenues from the HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) inched down 0.9% to $219 million, while sales of the prostate cancer drug Lupron (leuprolide) fell 9.0% to $181 million. The hypothyroid medication Synthroid (levothyroxine) was down 7.8% to $119 million, and AbbVie's AndroGel testosterone replacement therapy climbed 3.4% to $240 million.

Chief executive Richard Gonzalez said the company delivered earnings per share above its original guidance, "despite loss of exclusivity in our lipid franchise, which speaks to the foundation of AbbVie's product portfolio". He added that "we advanced our promising pipeline during the first quarter, with continued progress across our mid- and late-stage development programmes".

AbbVie noted that all registrational studies in its Phase III hepatitis C programme are underway and enrolling rapidly. It added that a number of late-stage trials are expected to begin over the next 12-18 months, including atrasentan for diabetic kidney disease and elagolix for uterine fibroids. The latter is already in Phase III for endometriosis.