Pfizer Seeks Piece of J&J’s Largest Pie With Remicade Biosimilar

Pfizer Seeks Piece of J&J’s Largest Pie With Remicade Biosimilar

In all for the September quarter, J&J posted a profit of $4.27 billion, or $1.53 a share, up from $3.36 billion, or $1.20 a share, in the same period a year ago.

In the third quarter, J&J revenue rose to $17.82 billion from $17.10 billion a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, adjusted earnings ticked up to $1.68 a share.

The world’s biggest maker of health care products handily beat Wall Street’s expectations and raised the lower end of its 2016 profit forecast. That was 3 cents better than the average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research.

Pfizer Inc PFE.N said on Monday it would begin shipping its biosimilar version of Remicade in late November at a 15 percent discount to current wholesale prices.

Pfizer said its biosimilar, called Inflectra, would list for a price 15% less than Remicade’s.

Sales of prescription drugs, J&J;’s largest business, jumped almost 12 percent in the US and 9.2 percent worldwide to $8.4 billion, led by $1.8 billion for immune disorder drug Remicade. Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso said on a conference call that J&J didn’t expect its yearly results to be affected by any Inflectra competition.

According to JPMorgan analyst Michael Weinstein, Remicade will experience a dip of $1 billion in 2017 due to biosimilars and generic competition. Yet J&J officials sought to push back on concerns about the impact, especially in the near-term.

“By introducing Inflectra to the US marketplace, Pfizer is helping customers access an additional high-quality treatment option that promises greater savings for the health care system”, said Diem Nguyen, regional president North America of Pfizer Essential Health Business. The discount Pfizer is offering on Inflectra is at the bottom of the range that analysts and payers had expected.

The Pfizer drug, to be sold under the name Inflectra, is already available in Europe and other overseas markets and would be the second biosimilar medicine available in the United States.

The company retained the upper end at $6.73 per share, and also backed its revenue forecast for the year. Xarelto, for preventing strokes and heart attacks, saw sales jump 15 percent to $529 million in the quarter, while sales of biologic psoriasis drug Stelara soared 33 percent to $814 million and sales of new leukemia and lymphoma treatment Imbruvica almost doubled to $349 million. It backed its revenue forecast of $71.5 billion to $72.2 billion.

J&J other segments, however, continued to lag.

Meanwhile, J&J’s medical device sales rose just 1.1% to $6.16 billion.

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