USA — Johnson & Johnson has set an ambitious goal, aiming to introduce a minimum of 20 new therapies by 2030, strategically focusing on leveraging the robust demand for its existing cancer treatments, Darzalex and Carvykti.

This approach is anticipated to provide stability as the company prepares for the impending loss of exclusivity for Stelara, a key autoimmune disease treatment.

In its recent investor communication, the pharmaceutical giant highlighted a revenue growth projection of 5% to 6% for the year 2024.

Stelara, contributing approximately one-fifth of Johnson & Johnson’s drug sales in the third quarter, is poised to face generic competition beyond the borders of the United States.

Despite the anticipated challenges associated with Stelara’s impending generic entry into the market, the company expresses optimism about maintaining its growth trajectory.

This optimism is driven by a robust portfolio of existing drugs and a strategic plan to introduce a diverse range of new therapies over the next decade.

Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk, despite acknowledging the impending competition, expressed assurance, citing legal settlements with Amgen, Teva/Alvotech, and Fresenius Kabi.

These agreements granted Johnson & Johnson exclusive rights to sell Stelara in the U.S. until early 2025, providing a strategic advantage amid the anticipated biosimilar entrants in 2024.

Wolk emphasized that Stelara’s significant sales, driven by its efficacy in treating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), create a reluctance among both patients and physicians to make drastic changes, positioning the drug favorably in a dynamic market.

The success of cancer drugs Darzalex and Carvykti is expected to play a pivotal role in navigating through the transitional period as Stelara faces generic competition outside the US.

Johnson & Johnson is strategically positioning itself in the competitive landscape of drugs and medical devices, having streamlined its focus by divesting its consumer health unit earlier this year.

The company’s confidence in its pharmaceutical unit is underscored by a projected compounded annual growth rate of 5-7% between 2025 and 2030.

Looking ahead, Johnson & Johnson highlighted a portfolio of products with considerable revenue potential.

Over 10 products, including newer cancer treatments like Talvey and Tecvayli, as well as innovative solutions such as the oral IL-23 receptor antagonist peptide JNJ-2113, are expected to generate over US$5 billion in peak year sales.

Additionally, the company has identified at least 15 assets capable of achieving peak sales between US$1 billion and US$5 billion, covering a spectrum of treatments from depression to autoimmune disorders and beyond.

Despite the looming biosimilar challenge for Stelara in 2025, Johnson & Johnson remains optimistic about operational sales growth, projecting a minimum of 3% for that year.

The long-term outlook is equally promising, with anticipated compounded annual growth of 5% to 7% in the pharmaceutical unit from 2025 to 2030.

As part of its holistic projection, Johnson & Johnson expects a full-year adjusted operational profit of US$10.55 to US$10.75 per share in 2024, including a 15-cent impact from its recent acquisition of private medical device maker Laminar.

Notably, this forecast excludes sales from the company’s Covid vaccine, reflecting a comprehensive perspective on its diverse portfolio.

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