Johnson & Johnson targets over 10 drug launches, filings through 2021 with blockbuster potential

Johnson & Johnson said Wednesday at a meeting with industry analysts that it plans to launch or seek approval, between 2017 and 2021, of more than 10 new drugs with blockbuster potential. The company added that it is also targeting more than 50 line extensions of existing and new medicines through 2021. 

"With a growing core business of differentiated medicines and a strong line-up of innovative products expected to launch or file over the next five years, we are leading the industry in advancing the health of patients around the world," remarked CEO Alex Gorsky, adding "our pharmaceutical business will continue to be a significant driver of innovation and growth." 

Johnson & Johnson indicated that it expects approval and market entry for the investigational psoriasis therapy guselkumab and the experimental rheumatoid arthritis treatment sirukumab later this year.

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Meanwhile, drugs that the company expects to submit for regulatory approval over the next four years include apalutamide for pre-metastatic prostate cancer, talacotuzumab for acute myeloid leukaemia, erdafitinib for solid tumours and niraparib for prostate cancer. The latter therapy, which Johnson & Johnson licenced for use in prostate cancer from Tesaro last year, was recently cleared by the FDA under the name Zejula for the treatment of certain women with recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. 

Other therapies highlighted by Johnson & Johnson for regulatory approval filing through 2021 were esketamine for treatment-resistant depression and imetelstat for myelofibrosis, the latter of which it is co-developing with Geron for a number of indications under a 2014 deal. Johnson & Johnson also cited pimodivir for influenza A, lumicitabine for respiratory syncytial virus infection and the orexin-2 antagonist JNJ-7922 as an adjunctive treatment for major depressive disorder. 

Johnson & Johnson noted that its Janssen Biotech unit has received approval in the US for 11 new molecular entities since 2011. The company said its pharmaceutical segment, which is currently focused on immunology, infectious diseases and vaccines, neuroscience, cardiovascular and metabolism, and oncology, will add pulmonary arterial hypertension as a sixth therapeutic area following the completion of its pending $30-billion Actelion acquisition, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.

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