J&J sets sights on $60B in pharma sales by 2025, targets 8 brands to deliver growth

As Johnson & Johnson works through period of change—including a consumer business spinoff and a high-profile loss of exclusivity—the company is steadfast on hitting an aggressive pharmaceutical sales target.

During an investor call Tuesday, J&J execs said the company aims to generate $60 billion in pharmaceutical sales by 2025. The unit pulled down $13.2 billion in the third quarter, which would annualize at nearly $53 billion.

J&J is targeting the $60 billion goal for 2025 despite next's year's loss of exclusivity for Stelara, currently the company's top drug by sales. The immunology blockbuster generated $7.33 billion in the first 9 months of 2022, a 12% increase from the same period last year operationally.

The projection is based on the company’s current profile and pipeline, Jennifer Taubert, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of J&J pharmaceuticals, said on the company’s earnings conference call. The company believes it will have an annual compound growth rate of “at least 5%," with growth in every year, including through next year's Stelara loss of exclusivity, Taubert said.

The company will rely on eight key brands to meet the pharma goal of $60 billion, she explained.

J&J has high hopes for Bristol Myers Squibb partnered thrombosis drug-milvexian, plus a combination of amivantamab and lazertinib to treat non-small cell lung cancer, Taubert said. Taubert also highlighted the company’s TAR-200 platform for bladder cancer, and of course the Legend Biotech partnered CAR-T Carvykti. J&J remains “really bullish” on the significance of Carvykti for multiple myeloma patients “around the world," Taubert said.

Taubert also cited Darzalex sales growth of 39% as an example of a large increase for a marketed drug that would support the $60 billion goal.

“You take a look at the strength of the existing portfolio, you layer in on top of that what’s coming through with the pipeline, and that’s what gives us the confidence to hit the $60 billion organically,” Taubert said.

Meanwhile, Taubert also pointed to 14 novel therapies filed with “potential” to exceed a billion dollars in revenue, plus five that could exceed five billion.

All of this doesn’t mean J&J won’t look towards M&A, but that it won’t rely on it, execs said. With $34 billion in cash, J&J’s dealmaking priorities have not changed, Joseph J. Wolk, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said on the call. While the company is even “a little bit more bullish and eager to do something,” it won’t do anything haphazardly, he added.

During the third quarter, J&J's pharma growth largely came from the oncology and immunology sectors, thanks to Tremfya and Darzalex. Darzalex on its own achieved 38.7% growth worldwide and contributed over $2 billion in revenue during the quarter, setting the multiple myeloma drug up to be a pharmaceutical superstar. Lee Brown, global sector lead for healthcare at Third Bridge, noted the “phenomenal growth” of Darzalex in a series of remarks. Brown also expects the drug's strong sales trajectory to be sustained.

The company is “navigating the macroeconomic environment well, despite currency projected to push down sales by roughly $4.5 billion or nearly 5% in 2022," Brown wrote in a note to clients.