JPM24: Johnson & Johnson CEO says Tecvayli, Talvey and several other meds are set to trounce analyst estimates

Johnson & Johnson is starting the year with a new corporate identity and a simpler structure after its recent spinoff of consumer healthcare company Kenvue. Despite all the recent changes, the company maintains an aggressive outlook for its pharmaceuticals division.

Speaking at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, J&J CEO Joaquin Duato explained why the company’s internal forecasts for a range of medicines differ so widely from projections from analysts on Wall Street. In particular, he singled out several medicines from the company’s burgeoning multiple myeloma portfolio. 

Specifically, Duato noted that J&J’s 2027 sales projection for new multiple myeloma entrant Tecvayli is 25% higher than Wall Street’s estimate for the same year. For another bispecific, Talvey, J&J’s expected sales figure in 2027 doubles analyst expectations, Duato said. 

For both drugs, J&J recently said it expects peak-year sales to come in at $5 billion or more.  

With those two multiple myeloma drugs, J&J plans to explore combination regimens, including with J&J’s own Darzalex, and eventually “move them into first-line treatment,” the CEO said.  

Another reason for the difference in estimates is that analysts might be “waiting to see” proof that J&J can deliver on its big promises, the CEO said.  

Also in multiple myeloma, J&J’s cell therapy Carvykti is under FDA review to reach a broader set of patients. Again, J&J’s 2027 sales estimate for the drug is about 25% higher than analysts' projections, according to the CEO. J&J has laid out a $5 billion-plus peak-year target for Carvykti, as well.

In all, J&J figures its multiple myeloma franchise can generate $25 billion, Duato said, with 1 in 2 patients eventually being treated with a J&J multiple myeloma medicine. Already, the company’s top oncology offering, Darzalex, is generating nearly $10 billion annually. 

Over time in multiple myeloma, the company wants to “change the treatment paradigm” from treating the progression of the disease to delivering cures. 

Elsewhere in oncology, Duato said the combo of Rybrevant and the Yuhan-partnered lazertinib could double analyst sales estimates. The chemo-free regimen has turned in impressive results in newly diagnosed, EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer, prompting J&J to place a peak-year sales target of at least $5 billion on the drug. 

Outside of oncology, J&J’s 2027 forecast for depression nasal spray Spravato is 50% higher than analyst numbers, Duato said. The company figures the drug will deliver peak sales of $1 billion to $5 billion. 

While those represent ambitious targets for the New Jersey-based drugmaker, the J&J CEO said the company has “always delivered on our estimates.”  

Groupwide, J&J has laid out a $57 billion target for its pharmaceutical division by 2025, and Duato said the drugmaker is “very confident” it will deliver. 

At an enterprise business update last month, J&J said it expects to deliver 20 novel innovative drugs by 2030, and at least 50 label expansions by that year. Ten J&J assets boast peak sales potential of at least $5 billion, the company said. Another 15 drugs should at least reach blockbuster status, according to the drugmaker.

The proclamations come as J&J enters 2024 with a two-segment identity after its consumer healthcare spinoff. Besides its large innovative medicines group, the company boasts a leading medtech outfit.