JPM: Sanofi touts Toujeo prospects; Celgene eyes 22% sales hike; Valeant amps up DTC, sales hiring

SAN FRANCISCO--When the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference rolls around, it's always a case of so much news, so little time (and space). So, we're collecting some of the bigger stories here. For more, check out our separate stories on Johnson & Johnson's new yen for slimming down, and Merck & Co.'s Keytruda progress. And check back; we'll be updating throughout the day Tuesday.

  • The always ambitious Celgene ($CELG) CEO Bob Hugin once again predicted big things for his company come 2020. Sales will zoom past $20 billion by then--more than double 2015's forecast--thanks to continued growth from multiple myeloma heavyweight Revlimid; blockbuster breakthroughs for up-and-comers Pomalyst and Otezla; and a great leap forward for Abraxane. Not to mention new meds now working their way through the pipeline. Investors won't have to wait long for big numbers though; for 2015, sales are expected to leap by 22% to $9 billion to $9.5 billion. Revlimid will lead the way, as usual, thanks in part to the fact that it's now among the world's 10 most expensive drugs. Release

  • Sanofi ($SNY) R&D chief Elias Zerhouni touted 18 drug launches on tap for the next 6 years, with a big emphasis on Toujeo, the basal insulin aimed at picking up slack after its best-selling Lantus sees biosimilar competition. Zerhouni says it's clearly better than its predecessor, and Sanofi sees Toujeo becoming "the gold standard" in short order. In fact, "we're putting all our launch revenues behind it" for a rollout this quarter, Zerhouni said. Then there's alirocumab, the PCSK9 cholesterol fighrer, which European regulators have now accepted for review, Sanofi said Monday. One drug that didn't get as much attention, however: Mannkind's ($MNKD) Afrezza, the inhaled insulin Sanofi signed up to market last year. It's expected to launch this quarter, but precious few details areavailable about that; even its price remains under wraps. Release

  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals ($VRX) executives Howard Schiller and Ari Kellen outlined plans to beef up its sales force and launch new DTC advertising campaigns, all in the name of delivering the 10% to 12% organic sales growth CEO J. Michael Pearson promised recently to investors. Still smarting from its failure to nab Allergan ($AGN)--and from that company's shots to its business model--Valeant is aiming to prove itself by putting its newer launches into hyperdrive. Among the products up for special attention will be the acne fighter Onexton, toenail fungus remedy Jublia, and Ultra contact lenses. The goal: $500 million in sales from launch products, up from the $90 million it achieved for the second half of 2014. Report

Special Reports: Top 10 best-selling diabetes drugs | The top 10 most expensive drugs of 2013 - Celgene's Revlimid | The 15 highest-paid biopharma CEOs of 2013 - Celgene's Bob Hugin