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Exploring JNJ’s Key Oncology Assets in the First Quarter

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Imbruvica’s trends

In the first quarter, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and AbbVie’s (ABBV) Imbruvica reported 40% YoY (year-over-year) growth in worldwide sales due to its robust uptake across multiple approved indications in the US, European, and Asia-Pacific markets.

According to the company’s first-quarter earnings investor presentation, Imbruvica is currently the market leader in both first-line and second-line CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) indications, second-line Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia indications, and second-line mantle cell lymphoma indications in the United States. The drug is a leading player in terms of both new patient share and total patient share. It has increased its market share in the US first-line CLL segment by five percentage points.

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Zytiga’s and Erleada’s trends

In the first quarter, Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga reported a 15% YoY fall in worldwide revenue, a 55% YoY fall in US market revenue, and a 21% YoY rise in ex-US revenue. According to the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call, while generic erosion adversely affected the drug’s sales in the US market, increasing uptake in Asia and Europe—especially in high-risk, metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer indications—was a major growth driver for Zytiga.

According to Johnson & Johnson’s first-quarter earnings conference call, its recently launched drug, Erleada, managed to capture four points of market share in nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer indications in the United States. The prescriber base for this drug is almost equally distributed across urologists and oncology practices.

Balversa’s FDA approval

On April 15, Johnson & Johnson issued a press release announcing the FDA’s approval of the first-ever FGFR (fibroblast growth factor receptor) kinase inhibitor, Balversa, in locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma indications with certain FGFR genetic alterations. The FDA also approved a companion diagnostic to identify patients who could benefit from Balversa.

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