Libertyville Township-based Abbott Laboratories and its pharmaceutical spinoff AbbVie Inc. kicked off the year as separate companies.
AbbVie, which began trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "ABBV," gained 2.8 percent to $35.12 at the close of trading, for a valuation of $55.5 billion. Abbott shares climbed 2.3 percent to $32.05 at the close, giving the company a market value of about $50.7 billion. The stocks had traded on a when-issued basis in December.
Abbott announced in 2011 that it would split into two companies because the drug and diversified products units grew into distinct business lines. AbbVie's portfolio includes the anti-inflammation drug Humira, as well as Vicodin and Niaspan, according to Abbott's website. AbbVie is exploring new indications for Humira beyond rheumatoid arthritis, such as ulcerative colitis and pediatric Crohn's disease.
"With those assets and a relentless focus on innovation we intend to create significant value for our shareholders," said AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez, a former Abbott executive.
Abbott's top products include cardiac stents, nutrition items and diagnostic tests, with a portfolio that includes products such as Similac, Ensure and Pedialyte.
"We wish our colleagues at AbbVie continued success as they become part of a new, independent company that is already making a significant difference, focusing on highly specialized, market-leading therapies for some of the world's most difficult-to-treat diseases," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer of Abbott.
"Abbott has taken the most transformative action in its 125-year history," White added. "We have had enduring success precisely because of what we're doing now -- reinventing ourselves for changing times and creating new ways to serve the millions of patients, customers, communities and shareholders who depend on us."
•Bloomberg News contributed to this report.