In the hot field of hepatitis C treatments, J&J has teamed up with Swedish biotech firm Medivir in the development of phase 3 treatment simeprevir for treatment-naive patients. While Medivir’s been hesitant to throw around peak sales projections, the hepatitis C market could reach $25 billion by 2010, according to analysts — an opportunity that J&J won’t pass up, even in a crowded market like this. Simeprevir has shown strong results as part of a combination therapy in trials, although it’s questionable whether this drug can become a blockbuster with so many other players in the hep-C market.
Finally, rheumatoid arthritis candidate sirukumab may be the brightest star in the pipeline. J&J has plenty of experience with other immunology drugs — its colossal blockbuster Remicade and more than $6 billion in sales last year speaks to that. The company and its partner on sirukumab, GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK) , will have to face plenty of competition in the hot autoimmune business; although with some rival drugs losing patent exclusivity in the near future, J&J and GSK could find room for sirukumab to flourish.
Lighting up the future
Drugs like sirukumab and Invokana will one day replace J&J’s top-selling drugs such as Remicade and Zytiga as the company’s pharmaceutical anchors. Investors will have to keep a close eye on these drugs’ development to watch for missteps and unexpected failures, but for now, Johnson & Johnson’s well-stocked pipeline ensures this health care giant’s promising pharmaceutical future.
The article The Pipeline Power at Johnson & Johnson originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dan Carroll.
Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson.
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