AbbVie Stock Hits Record High As It Looks To Expand A Decades-Old Drug

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AbbVie stock touched a record high Tuesday after the company announced promising test results that could expand use of a treatment for blurry vision.




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The drug, Vuity, is approved as a once-daily eye drop for blurry near vision, known as presbyopia. The solution behind it first gained Food and Drug Administration approval in 1974. Now, a new test called Virgo now suggests two drops per day improves near vision without impacting distance vision, AbbVie (ABBV) subsidiary Allergan said.

“We are encouraged by the results from the Virgo trial, which suggests that administering Vuity twice daily may provide an additional dosing option for people with presbyopia to improve their near vision without compromising their distance vision,” lead investigator Christopher Lievens said in a written statement. Lievens is a professor with the Southern College of Optometry.

On the stock market today, AbbVie stock rose 1% to 163.43. Earlier, shares touched a record high.

AbbVie Stock: Gaining Near Vision

Researchers split 230 presbyopia patients age 40-55 into two groups. One group gave themselves two doses of Vuity six hours apart for two weeks. The other group received a placebo.

Three hours after the second dose, patients gained the ability to read three additional lines on a near-vision chart in low light. Meanwhile, at worst, patients lost five letters on the distance vision chart, also tested in low light.

Bullishly for AbbVie stock, the safety results were similar to once-daily Vuity treatment. Common side effects included headache and eye irritation.

“We know that many people with age-related blurry near vision are interested in the potential use of Vuity beyond once-daily administration to help manage their condition,” AbbVie’s Michael Robinson said in a written statement. Robinson is AbbVie’s ophthalmology lead.

Highly Rated Drug Stock

The news briefly sent AbbVie stock to its highest point ever. Shares closed just below that level, however.

Shares are now well above their key moving averages, MarketSmith.com shows.

AbbVie stock also has strong ratings, according to IBD Digital. Shares have a Composite Rating of 94. This puts the drug stock in the leading 6% of all stocks in terms of fundamental and technical metrics. AbbVie stock also has a bullish Relative Strength Rating of 96. The RS Rating is a 1-99 measure of a stock’s 12-month performance. AbbVie stock trades in the top 4%.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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