J&J presents pipeline to skeptical analysts

At a meeting of over 100 financial analysts, Johnson & Johnson showed off its drug pipeline and outlined its growth plan for the next several years. With two of its big sellers--Risperdal and Topamax--losing patent protection soon, and slower sales due to concerns about Procrit and Eprex, analysts are concerned the drug giant won't be able to produce new drugs fast enough to replace the old ones.

Company officials anticipate 18 to 21 new drug filings or approvals over the next three years; five of those are expected by the end of 2007. However, Joseph Scodari, J&J's world-wide chairman for pharmaceuticals, acknowledged that it was unlikely J&J would continue to see the double-digit growth it has enjoyed for the last few years. "We believe our pipeline is more robust today than at any point in our history," he told the Wall Street Journal. However, "we will be hard-pressed over the next few years to deliver the kind of double-digit growth that...we grew accustomed to during the first few years of this decade." In the meantime, the company will be relying on its consumer products division, which is responsible for 25 percent of its sales.

- see J&J's press release
- read the analysis from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)

ALSO: At the same meeting, J&J discussed promising data on an antibiotic against TB, called TMC 207, that researchers say has been active against every strain of the bug it's been tested against. Report

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