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The Pipeline Power at Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (BMY), GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (GSK)

When it comes to health care companies, there’s no bigger name than the largest firm in the business: Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) .

Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY)

What doesn’t J&J produce? From pharmaceuticals to consumer care goods to medical devices, this major medical player has it all. That can make it tough on investors trying to understand this highly diversified company, however: With so many parts, what do you need to keep an eye on? To get a grip on this colossus of the health care sector, let’s take a look at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and the company’s pipeline of pharmaceuticals in development that will power the future.

Surging ahead to approval
Johnson & Johnson isn’t lacking in pipeline power. During a time when the patent cliff is hammering nearly every big pharma player in the business, J&J boasts more than a dozen drugs in phase 3 trials or filed for regulatory approval.

Type 2 diabetes therapy Invokana looks to make a dent in one of the most widespread diseases impacting advanced economies today. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) filed Invokana for regulatory approval in both the U.S. and EU last year, and with a PDUFA date at the end of March, we won’t have to wait long to see whether this drug will hit the market. Analysts have pegged Invokana’s peak sales at $1 billion or more, adding another potential blockbuster to J&J’s arsenal.

It’ll have to battle up-and-comers like Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) and AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)‘s similar diabetes treatment Forxiga, which gained European approval in November. However, the FDA turned down Forxiga’s filing due to safety worries, opening up more opportunity for Invokana to capitalize on.

The FDA and Europe approved rising star drug Zytiga’s new indication as a prostate cancer therapy for chemotherapy-naive patients in December. Zytiga’s already done well since being launched — the drug’s sales grew more than 300% year-over-year in 2012 to $961 million — but the new indication should help Zytiga easily zoom past blockbuster status. Chalk up another winner for J&J.

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