Sources tell Bloomberg that AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) will lay off its entire heart drug sales team. The number of workers fired in the move is expected to be in the mid-hundreds.
This year, company is facing the expiration of patent protection for its Niaspan cholesterol drug, which generated sales of $911 million in 2012. In November, it lost patent protection for TriCor.
With generic competition for its heart drugs rising due to patent expirations, the company is ditching its large sales force for those drugs. AbbVie is also re-focusing its development efforts away from cardiac medications toward speciality drugs.
AbbVie was spun off from Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) at the beginning of this year. Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) retained its medical device, generic medication and diagnostics units. Rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira is AbbVie’s best selling drug, producing sales of $7.93 billion in 2012.
Shares of AbbVie fell about 2% in Wednesday morning trading, while Abbott Laboratories shares climbed fractionally.