Company: Johnson & Johnson
2018 U.S. sales: $3.47 billion
Used for: Crohn's disease, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis
Driven by increasing use in Crohn’s disease since its approval in that indication in 2016, Johnson & Johnson’s Stelara continued to rake in more of the immunology market in a strong 2018.
Stelara delivered $3.47 billion in U.S. sales on the year, an outstanding 25.4% increase year over year. The immunology star is part of J&J's next-generation push to drive sales as legacy top-seller Remicade suffers from steep U.S. payer discounts and biosimilar challengers in the market, and newer blockbuster Xarelto faces tough head-to-head competition.
Unlike Remicade, J&J’s other immunology blockbuster, Stelara continued to grow with no major biosimilar competitors on the horizon last year.
Stelara’s rise in the massive immunology market has recently been tied to its solid growth in the Crohn’s indication, but J&J is still actively pursuing new uses for the drug, including for treatment of lupus.
In November 2017, phase 2 clinical data showed that 60% of lupus patients receiving Stelara had fewer symptoms at week 24 of treatment, while just 31% of the placebo group did.