J&J beats first-quarter profit estimates on cancer drugs strength, ET HealthWorld

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London: Johnson & Johnson reported a first-quarter profit above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, helped by strong sales of its cancer drugs including top-selling blood cancer treatment Darzalex.

Sales of its blockbuster psoriasis drug Stelara were flat at $2.45 billion in the first quarter, while sales of Darzalex jumped about 19 per cent to $2.69 billion.

Darzalex, a blood cancer therapy launched in 2015, is expected to bring in sales of more than $11 billion for J&J this year, according to analysts.

J&J has struck deals to delay U.S. launches of close-copy versions of Stelara until 2025, a key patent for which expired last year. Analysts have said the delayed competition will make the drug a larger contributor for J&J’s 2024 and 2025 revenue than previously anticipated.

Stelara biosimilars are expected to launch elsewhere later this year. J&J reached an agreement with Alvotech in February to launch its close-copy in Japan, Canada and Europe this year. The Luxembourg-based drugmaker can enter the Canadian market in the first quarter of this year and Japan in May.

On an adjusted basis, J&J earned $2.71 per share in the first quarter, compared to analysts’ estimates of $2.64, according to LSEG data.

The company reported total revenue of $21.38 billion, compared to estimates of $21.40 billion.

J&J now expects adjusted operating profit per share between $10.60 and $10.75 for 2024, compared with its previous forecast of $10.55 to $10.75.

The company’s cancer cell therapy Carvykti, which recently received approval for use in less severely affected patients with a type of blood cancer, brought in sales of $157 million in the first quarter.

Tecvayli, another blood cancer treatment, accounted for $133 million in quarterly sales.

Carvykti and Tecvayli are among ten products J&J expects will generate peak sales of more than $5 billion.

(Reporting by Bhanvi Satija and Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru and Patrick Wingrove in New York; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

  • Published On Apr 16, 2024 at 05:48 PM IST

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