2. Johnson & Johnson

(Wikimedia Commons)

R&D budget: $10.76 billion
Change from 2017: +1.7%
Total 2018 revenue: $81.6 billion
R&D budget as percentage of revenue: 13.2%

Johnson & Johnson remains a big friend to life sciences, setting up its JLABS hubs all over the globe to help superearly ideas potentially come to life as full-blown, cutting-edge drugs and tech.

It does this while also investing in biotechs and consistently having one of the largest pharma R&D budgets in the world (which, like first-place Roche, also includes its large R&D spend for its diagnostics business, which is around $2 billion a year).

In 2016, it spent $9.09 billion on its R&D, with sales of just under $72 billion, which worked out as being 12.6% of its sales. Fast-forward two years and revenue has jumped massively, by nearly $10 billion, but its R&D percentage has not only kept pace with this large sales increase but also been boosted itself, now up to 13.2% of sales.

But J&J didn’t have the best of years in the clinic, with a number of setbacks hitting what had been some good numbers. In October, it took a $630 million hit on the RSV drug it bought with Alios four years ago, after it had been hit with a clinical hold.

A month later, it then dumped OSE Immunotherapeutics’ autoimmune candidate FR104. J&J picked up the rights to the CD28 antagonist for a small €10 million ($11 million) upfront charge in 2016, but clinical progress stalled following the deal, leading it to be axed.

J&J has also been continuing its legacy of betting big, paying $175 million, and putting as much as $1.6 billion on the table in milestones, for Arrowhead’s RNAi hepatitis B drug.

In December, European biotech Argenx also teamed up with Cilag, a subsidiary of Janssen, to work on the company’s drug cusatuzumab, an anti-CD70 SIMPLE antibody, across a range of blood cancers and disorders, including AML, myelodysplastic syndrome and other hematological malignancies. The deal is worth a respectable $300 million upfront, with a $200 million equity investment from Janssen funneled into the Belgian-Dutch biotech; but this could swell to $1.6 billion in biobucks.

At the same time, Janssen and partner Legend Biotech also reported a positive snapshot from updated data out from their phase 1/2 study of BCMA-targeted CAR-T therapy in multiple myeloma, a therapy that could play a big part in the Big Pharma’s future.

This year J&J also got a big win for ketamine-like drug esketamine, now Spravato, with an FDA approval in depression, as it looks to turn a one-time party drug into a serious CNS therapy.

Check out J&J’s pipeline.

2. Johnson & Johnson

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