ABBOTT PARK, IL (April 26, 2004) – At the annual meeting of Abbott Laboratories shareholders last week, Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer highlighted the company’s recent progress.”We’ve built a single, integrated global pharmaceutical business with more than 60 compounds in development, with many in the final stages,” White said. He added the company increased the number of drug candidates generated by discovery during the past few years and expanded its portfolio of advanced-technology medical products businesses.
In pharmaceutical products, White pointed to the launch of Humira (adalimumab), the company’s self-injectable biologic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as a key accomplishment. He said Humira exceeded first-year sales expectations and captured an increasing share of the adult RA self-injectable treatment market. In addition, Abbott is pursuing six additional indications for Humira, several of which represent $500 million in potential sales each, he said.
In the last five years, Abbott also added nine major global brands, more than doubling the number of branded pharmaceuticals whose sales currently exceed $200 million annually, he said.White cited Abbott’s pipeline of medicines and continued investment in advanced discovery technologies as keys to building on the success of the company’s pharmaceutical business.
In medical products, White cited key acquisitions in 2003, including TheraSense Inc.,which Abbott is combining with its MediSense blood glucose monitoring business to form Abbott Diabetes Care; ZonePerfect Nutrition Co. “healthy living” nutritionals segment; Integrated Vascular Systems, which expands the company’s vascular devices pipeline and product portfolio; Spinal Concepts Inc., which develops and markets devices that are used in spinal surgery, and i-STAT Corp., a point-of-care diagnostics business.
During the meeting, shareholders defeated the four proposals that had beensubmitted, but ratified the selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP as auditors of the corporation for 2004. Abbott’s 13 incumbent directors were elected to the board of directors. They are:
— Roxanne S. Austin, former president and chief operating officer,DirecTv, Inc.;
— H. Laurance Fuller, retired co-chairman of the board, BP Amoco plc;
— Richard A. Gonzalez, president and chief operating officer, MedicalProducts Group, Abbott Laboratories;
— Jack M. Greenberg, retired chairman and chief executive officer,McDonald’s Corp.;
— Jeffrey M. Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief operating officer,Pharmaceutical Products Group, Abbott Laboratories;
— The Rt. Hon. Lord Owen CH, executive chairman, Global Natural Energyplc;
— Boone Powell Jr., retired chairman, Baylor Health Care System;
— Addison Barry Rand, chairman and chief executive officer, Equitant;
— W. Ann Reynolds, Ph.D., retired director, Center for CommunityOutreach & Development, The University of Alabama at Birmingham;
— Roy S. Roberts, managing director, Reliant Equity Investors;– William D. Smithburg, retired chairman, president and chief executiveofficer, The Quaker Oats Company;
— John R. Walter, retired president and chief operating officer, AT&TCorporation; and former chairman and chief executive officer, R.R.Donnelley & Sons Company; and
— Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer, AbbottLaboratories.
Abbott Laboratories employs more than 70,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.