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J&J expects to file 10 new pharma products by 2017

Healthcare company also expects 25 significant brand-line extensions

J&J expects to file 10 new pharma products by 2017

Johnson & Johnson set out its R&D stall in front of industry analysts yesterday, saying the transformation of the business over the last five years is paying off in terms of new product launches.

With 11 products launched since 2009 now accounting for 17 per cent of group sales in 2012, up from 9 per cent a year earlier, J&J is expecting another fertile spell with 10 new product filings and more than 25 significant brand-line extensions by 2017.

Last year, J&J was the fastest-growing top 10 pharma business in the top three drug markets (the US, Europe and Japan), on the back of 12 consecutive quarters of operational sales growth, with new product sales outpacing revenues lost by mature products.

That financial strength has supported a stream of new R&D projects that will help cement that position, with recent launches now expected to account for more than half of group sales by 2017, according to J&J's chairman and chief scientific officer Paul Stoeffels.

"We have an industry-leading pipeline of truly differentiated products and a track record of success resulting in more new molecular entity (NME) approvals per year at a lower development cost than the industry average," he told investors.

Upcoming new products highlighted during the presentation included simeprevir for hepatitis C, which has been filed in Japan, Europe and the US, as well as ibrutinib and daratumumab for haematologic malignancies and sirukumab and guselkumab for immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Earlier this week J&J, revealed phase III efficacy and safety data for simeprevir with pegylated interferon and ribavirin, which showed that the regimen achieved a sustained virologic response after 12 weeks in 79 per cent of treatment-experienced genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C adult patients with compensated liver disease.

Other near-term projects include a three-month formulation of Invega (paliperidone), which the firm said has the "potential to change the treatment paradigm for schizophrenia", and novel vaccines for treating influenza, rabies and polio.

"We have more than doubled our R&D productivity in the past four years," Stoeffels told the meeting, attributing the progress to a tighter focus on key therapeutic categories, selective sourcing of innovative technologies from external partners and accelerating project cycle time.

J&J has a late development success rate that outstrips its peers, he added, with more NME approvals per year, at a lower cost per NME approved, than its closest rivals.

In fact, the buoyancy of its pharma business is at odds with the pressure being felt by J&J's consumer health division, which has been hamstrung in the last three years by manufacturing compliance problems which led to the recall of millions of products.

As a result, some investors, including Goldman Sachs, have said they would like to see J&J follow the lead of Pfizer and Abbott/AbbVie and split up its divisions into separate operating units.

24th May 2013

From: Research, Sales

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