JPM, Day 3: Fujifilm's bio CDMO growth, Catalent's 'coveted' COVID-19 assets, Teva's post-cutback aims—and more

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JPM, Day 3 (Pixabay/David Mark)

Typically, Day 3 of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is when some folks start packing up for home. Others check off their final meetings. And tomorrow's San Francisco weather forecast isn't quite as important. The Westin might even be a bit less crowded.

With this year's virtual meeting, the weather was obviously irrelevant, and no one needed to scramble for an Uber in the rain. And the program marches on, with presentations Fierce Pharma will be following into the evening—and interviews stacked to the end of the week.

Now, as Day 3 hits East Coast tea time, we're chronicling Jazz Pharma's drug launch plans, Catalent's pre-pandemic capacity-building, Sanofi's digital ambitions under a new CDO and more.

Hungry for more? Catch up with all you might have missed Tuesday with Fierce Pharma's Day 2 updates here. Catch Fierce Biotech's Day 3 coverage here

UPDATED Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 6:46 p.m. ET

By the mid-2020s, Fujifilm aims to nearly double its healthcare revenue to ¥1 trillion ($9.3 billion), and it’s largely banking on its fast-growing medical systems and bio CDMO businesses to get it there, CEO Kenji Sukeno said. Medical systems revenue is expected to swell to roughly ¥500 billion ($4.6 billion) in 2021, assuming Fuji’s $1.7 billion buyout of Hitachi’s diagnostic imaging-related business goes through, Sukeno said. Meanwhile, Fujifilm hopes its bio CDMO business will hit ¥200 billion ($1.8 billion) by 2024. Part of that growth plan is tied to Fujifilm’s recent eye-popping $2 billion investment in a large U.S. cell culture production site, expected to begin operations in early 2025, Sukeno said. Since 2017, the company has pumped more than $4 billion into its CDMO sites across the U.S., the U.K., and Denmark, he added.

UPDATED: Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 4:32 p.m. ET

Jazz Pharmaceuticals aims to have five product launches under its belt by the end of 2022—and a revenue surge along with them. CEO Bruce Cozadd said he expects the five drugs in 2020 and 2021 to account for more than half of the pharma’s revenue by the end of next year. The series of rollouts is part of a Jazz self-improvement project that includes an active pipeline and bigger therapeutic and geographic footprints in both neuroscience and oncology. And after three successful launches forced into the digital realm by the pandemic, there’s likely no going back to the old way of rolling out a new drug. Jazz will retain “elements of what we learned in 2020 [that] we will apply whether or not we’re in the same situation in 2021,” Cozadd said.

How exactly did Catalent take the pole position as a go-to company for COVID-19 work? By expanding capacity long before the virus touched down, CEO John Chiminski said during his company's JPM presentation. A former Bristol Myers Squibb plant in Anagni, Italy, that Catalent bought last January—plus newly expanded facilities at its own Bloomington, Indiana, and Madison, Wisconsin, sites—have become “coveted assets” during the pandemic, he said. Now, Catalent is pumping $50 million into a new production line in Bloomington to help balance out demand for non-COVID orders, Chiminski said, responding to a question about manufacturing disruptions on Horizon’s drug Tepezza at that site.

UPDATED: Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 2:30 p.m. ET

Jazz Pharmaceuticals aims to have five product launches under its belt by the end of 2022—and a revenue surge. CEO Bruce Cozadd expects the five drugs in 2020 and 2021 to account for more than half of the pharma’s revenue by the end of next year. The Jazz transformation includes an active pipeline and bigger therapeutic and geographic footprints in both neuroscience and oncology. Now, after three successful digital launches forced by the pandemic, there’s likely no going back to the old way of launching. He said Jazz will retain “elements of what we learned in 2020 (that) we will apply whether or not we’re in the same situation in 2021.” Story

UPDATED: Wednesday, Jan. 13 at 12:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday was Kåre Schultz’s third time presenting at JPM as the CEO of Teva, but it was the first time he got to use words like “stable” and “growth.” After a major restructuring full of layoffs and facility closings, “we now have a basic footprint which is aligned to our business,” he said. Generics have also stopped bottoming out, as has multiple sclerosis med Copaxone, and the company has taken its debt down from $34 billion to $24 billion, a trend it plans to continue. “We are, I would say, in a growth and optimization phase right now, which is a nice change,” Schultz said. Next up? Teva is looking to specialty products, including Austedo and Ajovy, as well as biosimilars, to swell its top line.

Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson came to the job with big digital ambitions, and during the company's JPM presentation Tuesday, new chief digital officer Arnaud Robert laid out his plan to make them happen. The digital challenges in the pharma industry are “quite real," he said, but the opportunities at Sanofi are “greater than any company I’ve worked at." Robert joined Sanofi last year from Viking Cruises, and he's also worked at Disney and Nike. Story

It's still too early to say when AstraZeneca might turn a profit on its COVID-19 vaccine, Ruud Dobber, EVP and biopharma president, said in a Fierce JPM Week interview. The company is building a capacity of 3 billion doses for countries around the world, and it won’t be until after AZ delivers on its government supply deals that it might “feel open" to selling the vaccine commercially. Thankfully, the company has plenty of other revenue sources on tap, with more on the way in 2021. Dobber singled out lupus candidate anifrolumab, severe asthma prospect tezepelumab and anemia treatment roxadustat as its biggest products likely to hit the scene this year. Plus, AZ's recent $39 billion buyout of rare disease specialist Alexion will bring blockbuster Soliris and follow-up Ultomiris under AZ’s roof if it gets the go-ahead from regulators. Story

Aside from a major business restructuring, Bayer’s attention these days is also focused on settling tens of thousands of Roundup lawsuits. But that process recently hit a roadblock as a judge raised questions about the part of the settlement that governs future plaintiffs. Right now, Bayer’s still “working on the plan B to handle the future cases,” Jurgen Beunink with Bayer investor relations said. It’s also roping in further settlements from existing cases and fighting to appeal those that it previously lost in court.