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Abbott Picks AbbVie as Name for Pharmaceutical Spinoff

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March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Abbott Laboratories, the drug and medical-device company that plans to split in two, said its pharmaceutical spinoff will be called AbbVie and will debut by the end of the year.

Abbott, which makes the autoimmune treatment Humira, artery-clearing heart stents and nutritional drinks, announced the name in a statement today. Richard Gonzalez will lead the drugs business, the Abbott Park, Illinois-based company has already said.

Chief Executive Officer Miles White said in October that he would divide the company, with Abbott retaining the devices, nutritional drinks, generic drugs and other products that had become overshadowed by Humira, which generated sales of $7.9 billion last year. The name of the branded-drug business, pronounced “Abb-vee,” is derived from its parent company as well as “vi,” the Latin root for “life,” Abbott said.

“The beginning of the name connects the new company to Abbott and its heritage of pioneering science,” Gonzalez said in the statement. “The ‘vie’ calls attention to the vital work the company will continue to advance to improve the lives of people around the world.”

AbbVie’s logo and “graphic identity” will be unveiled when the new company is introduced, Abbott said in the statement. White will remain chairman and CEO at the original company while Gonzalez will fill those positions at the spinoff.

Abbott fell less than 1 percent to $60.39 at the close of New York trading. The shares have gained 13 percent since the breakup was announced on Oct. 19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Nussbaum in New York at anussbaum1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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