By Patrick Wingrove (Reuters): Johnson & Johnson’s legal agreement with Amgen Inc. to delay the release of a biosimilar version of its most popular treatment for psoriasis, Stelara, until January 2025 may result in the drug contributing more to J&J’s sales in 2024 and 2025 than Wall Street anticipates.
Since its introduction in 2009, Stelara has been J&J’s most popular drug, with sales reaching $9.7 billion in 2022. This year, the company’s patents begin to expire, allowing a less expensive biosimilar to enter the market and raising expectations that Stelara’s $13,000 monthly price will need to be reduced.
Accessibility of biosimilars ought to set off a decrease in the cost of more seasoned biotech medications, while possibly not by however much generics accomplish for customary pills. However, rival drugmakers’ launches have been held back by legal agreements under which they delay market entry to avoid lengthy patent litigation, resulting in high prices.
Experts presently anticipate that J&J should get $54.5 billion of every 2025 drug deals by and large, and for Stelara deals to tumble from $9.9 billion this year to $7.5 billion out of 2024 after a key U.S. patent lapses in September, as per Refinitiv information. Stelara is expected to cost $5.4 billion in 2025, according to two analysts.
J&J is guaging $57 billion in drug deals by 2025 in the wake of decreasing its past perspective on $60 billion in April, refering to cash elements that hurt its drug business in 2022.
Despite initial skepticism, analysts told Reuters that the Stelara deal with Amgen might put the company in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on track to meet that revised sales projection.
“I don’t feel that (bargain) will get them the whole way to $57 billion, yet presently there’s possibly a way for them to get to that number, though before there didn’t appear to be one since they were a few billion bucks away,” said Guggenheim examiner Vamil Divan.
He predicted that sales of the medication, which is also used to treat Crohn’s disease and other autoimmune diseases, could reach $10 billion in 2024 before falling to $7.5 billion to $8.5 billion the following year. That would add around $4.6 billion to average appraisals for drug deals, as long as no biosimilars enter the market before 2025.
Amgen stated last month that it will be able to sell its Stelara biosimilar by January 1, 2025, as a result of the confidential settlement it reached with J&J.
The organization’s utilization of the expression “no later than” feels a little doubtful on Stelara’s drawn out eliteness. According to Credit Suisse analyst Trung Huynh, there is also the possibility that other pharmaceutical companies will launch their own biosimilars before Amgen does, though J&J could sue to prevent that from happening.
Huynh stated, “I think growth should continue at around 4% in 2023 and 2024 if no Stelara biosimilars enter.”
In an analyst note, Divan stated that Alvotech and Teva Pharmaceutical’s AVT04 could be the next Stelara biosimilar to receive U.S. approval in the second half of 2023, providing that they address manufacturing issues pertaining to Alvotech’s Reykjavik manufacturing plant that have been brought up by the Food and Drug Administration.
Teva and Alvotech did not respond to inquiries for clarification.
A spokesperson for J&J stated that the agreement will not affect the company’s financial outlook for 2023 and that the company would continue to defend its intellectual property following the Stelara settlement.
The spokesperson stated that J&J is “making good progress” toward its guidance for 2025, building on the company’s recent remarks at an investor conference that it had increased confidence it could achieve its goal.
Source – Yahoo