Huh? New Abbott Spinoff Named Abbvie?

Huh? New Abbott Spinoff Named Abbvie?

March 22nd, 2012 // 1:35 pm @

Source: Pharmalot

Six months ago, Abbott Laboratories decided to split into two publicly traded companies. One will focus on devices, diagnostics, nutritionals and, outside the US, branded generics. The other will be a so-called research-based pharma that will feature a portfolio of existing meds, such as Humira and Synthroid, along with a pipeline of some 20 compounds in Phase II or Phase III development (see this).

Since then, Abbott execs, employees and investors have been concerned with an untold number of issues. But one side topic has been the new name for the pharma biz, which will be headed by Richard Gonzalez, who is currently executive vp of global pharmaceuticals. Some pundits had been rooting for Costello (as in the other half of the famed comedy team).

Personally, we never thought this choice would get to first base. Drugmakers, after all, need serious names to convey their mission and sense of purpose. Consider that when Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz merged in 1996, the combined operation was named Novartis, which comes from the Latin term “novae artes”, which means ‘new arts.’ So one had to expect Abbott would look for something equally inspiring.

Well, like it or not, the choice is AbbVie. No, not Abbey as in Abbey Road or Abbie as in Abbie Hoffman. This is slightly different and does not roll off the tongue so delicately. But why AbbVie? The drugmaker, which must have spent a decent sum for a name consultant or two, likes the moniker since it combines Abb with a reference, of sorts, to the Latin root “vi,” which means life.

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

Of course, Abbott ceo Miles White does not have to be much concerned with this. He will continue to lead the surviving ‘diversified medical products’ company, which will carry on with the Abbott legacy. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought about naming issues, though. The Abbott team was busy recently buying up domain names to fend off sneaky rivals and mischievous miscreants.

For instance, a bunch of domain names related to Gonzalez were recently registered, including (see this). And perhaps not so coincidentally, the possibilities for AbbViesucks are already taken. In any event, what do you think? AbbVie may not suck, but is this a good choice?

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