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JNJ or PFE: Comparing Legacy and Newly Launched Immunology Drugs

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Legacy immunology drugs

In the first quarter, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) reported Remicade sales worth $1.10 billion, a YoY (year-over-year) decline of 20.6% on a reported basis and 19.1% on an operational basis. According to Johnson & Johnson’s first quarter earnings conference call, despite maintaining volume share of 92% in the infliximab market, Remicade sales were negatively affected due to increasing discounts as well as the loss of market share to biosimilars as well as competing drugs.

In fiscal 2018, Remicade reported total sales of $5.33 billion, a YoY decline of 15.7% on a reported basis and 15.6% on an operational basis.

In fiscal 2018, Pfizer (PFE) earned $2.11 billion from the sale of Enbrel, a YoY decline of 13.87%, due to increased biosimilar competition in Europe.

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Recently launched drugs and research pipeline

Tremfya was first approved by the FDA in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis indication in July 2017 and then as one-press patient controlled injector for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in February 2019. The drug reported worldwide sales of $217 million in the first quarter, driven by four points YoY increase in U.S. market share. According to Johnson & Johnson’s first quarter earnings conference call, the drug currently accounts for 6.9% psoriasis market share and is being used by 31,000 patients globally.

The confidence in Tremfya’s efficacy in terms of rapid onset of action as well as durable response has been bolstered by increasing the amount of positive clinical and real-world data. According to Johnson & Johnson’s first quarter earnings conference call, the drug has demonstrated superiority over Stelara in a head-to-head trial in patients who responded insufficiently to Stelara. The drug has also demonstrated superior efficacy as compared to Novartis’ (NVS) Cosentyx in psoriasis indication.

According to Pfizer’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call, the company is anticipating readouts from two Phase 3 trials evaluating JAK1 inhibitor in atopic dermatitis indication close to May 2019 and September 2019. The company also plans to announce readouts from trials in fiscal 2020, which includes those comparing the investigational drug’s onset of action with biologics and also comparator trial with Dupixent.

Additionally, Pfizer is evaluating JAK3 inhibitor in a pivotal 2b/3 trial in moderate-to-severe alopecia areata indication.

 

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