Johnson & Johnson's new blood cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutinib) is on a roll. The FDA just armed the drug with a new indication in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, adding to a series of regulatory nods.
Three Big Pharma companies have helped come up with some seed money to start growing the first crop of biotechs in New York. Pfizer, Eli Lilly and J&J all chipped in to a $51 million fund from Accelerator Corp., which will now expand on the work it's been doing in Seattle to the East Side of Manhattan, recruiting upstarts to join investigators at the Alexandria Center for Life Science.
For William Strohl, the new head of Janssen's Biotechnology Center of Excellence, the future of drug R&D involves novel targets, "fit-for-purpose" antibodies and lots of collaborations.
A Johnson & Johnson exercise in creative problem solving has paid off for doctors and patients who rely on its ovarian cancer drug Doxil, availability of which has been uncertain for years. Its Janssen unit has accumulated a significant supply after assuming manufacturing at Boehringer Ingelheim plant that otherwise was closed down at the end of the year.
Gilead Sciences, which this week got FDA approval for its new blood cancer drug Zydelig (idelalisib), has now gotten a recommendation for its use in Europe. But competitor Imbruvica from Johnson & Johnson, which got a head start in the U.S., also received a nod from EU authorities today.
St. Jude Medical is hoping to strengthen its franchise in ablation catheters--thin, flexible wires inserted non-surgically into the heart to treat cardiac arrhythmia. Its FlexAbility irrigated ablation catheter has garnered a CE Mark in Europe, where it has marketed the TactiCath contact-force sensing irrigated ablation catheter since 2012. The company hopes to get FDA approval by year end for both FlexAbility and TactiCath.
GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson, which control most of the needed supplies for the industry, want authorities to approve genetic engineering so opium farming can be both expanded and made less susceptible to pests and so they can assure their customers they can keep up with demand.
Johnson & Johnson has managed a turnaround in its McNeil Consumer Health division by producing products like Tylenol and Motrin at facilities other than its still-closed Fort Washington, PA, plant and getting them back on retailer's shelves.
For years Johnson & Johnson's consumer unit was an embarrassment to CEO Alex Gorsky. Instead of being able to point to its contribution to quarterly results, he instead found himself explaining recalls of key products like Tylenol and the unit's drag on earnings. But a turnaround is at hand, with the unit turning in 2.4% growth in sales in Q2, driven by a 9% increase in over-the-counter drugs.
After J&J unveiled street-beating Q2 results yesterday, fueled in part by Olysio's $831 million in sales for the quarter, its stock price actually dropped. Investors figure Olysio's money-minting capabilities won't last, not with competitors racing toward launch themselves.