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AbbVie misses quarterly sales estimates as Humira rivals bite

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April 29 (Reuters) - AbbVie Inc missed Wall Street estimates for first-quarter sales on Friday, hurt by European competition for its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira and lower-than-expected revenue from its newer drug Rinvoq.

Sales of the world's best selling drug, Humira, fell 2.7% to $4.74 billion in the first quarter, below estimates of $4.91 billion as it faces competition from cheaper biosimilar copies in Europe. Rivals for the drug are expected in the United States next year, when it loses patent protection in the country.

AbbVie has been hoping that peak sales of its other rheumatoid arthritis drug Rinvoq and plaque psoriasis treatment Skyrizi would exceed that of Humira eventually, and the company has been working to gain expanded approvals for both drugs.

Rinvoq sales rose 53.6% to $465 million in the quarter ended March 31, but fell below estimates of $500.6 million. However, Skyrizi sales of $940 million beat estimates by nearly $24 million.

Last year, AbbVie completed its $63 billion purchase of Botox-maker Allergan, a move meant to diversify its portfolio ahead of Humira's loss of exclusivity in 2023.

Botox sales in cosmetic applications rose 34.4% to $641 million, breezing past estimates of $569.88 million.

Net revenues of $13.54 billion missed Refinitiv IBES estimates of $13.61 billion, but beat AbbVie's own target of $13.50 billion.

AbbVie lowered its adjusted earnings per share forecast to between $13.92 and $14.12, from earlier estimates of $14.00 to $14.20, citing a hit from upfront and milestone expenses which are now included in its results based on new regulatory guidance.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)