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

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J&J beats first-quarter profit estimates on cancer drugs strength
April 16, 2024
Reuters

(Reuters) - 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% 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.

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

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