* Pharmaceutical drug sales jump 9.2 pct
* U.S. Remicade sales rise 9.4 pct
(Adds CFO comment, context on Remicade patent battle with
By Ransdell Pierson
Oct 18 Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday
reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit and said its
phamaceutical business will keep prospering despite the
threatened launch of a competitor for its blockbuster Remicade
Pfizer Inc late on Monday said it would begin U.S.
shipments of Inflectra, its biosimilar form of Remicade, by late
November at a 15 percent discount to J&J's current wholesale
prices. With annual U.S. sales of about $5 billion, Remicade is
J&J's biggest product.
Biosimilar drugs are close copies intended to provide
savings compared with costly branded products. Inflectra is
already available in Europe.
"We are confident our pharma business will go well with or
without (the) biosimilar launch," J&J Chief Financial Officer
Dominic Caruso said Tuesday in an interview on CNBC.
J&J is appealing an August federal court decision that
invalidated a U.S. Remicade patent, setting the stage for a
February court battle with Pfizer. Should Pfizer launch
Inflectra and later lose the court fight, that could entitle J&J
to triple damages.
"We will continue the appeal process, and feel very good
about it," Caruso told CNBC.
In the third quarter, J&J revenue rose to $17.82 billion
from $17.10 billion a year earlier.
Its pharmaceutical sales jumped 9.2 percent to $8.40
billion, with strong growth for its Imbruvica and Darzalex
cancer drugs and its blood thinner Xarelto. U.S. sales of
Remicade jumped 9.4 percent to $1.22 billion.
Global medical device sales rose 1.1 percent to $6.16
billion in the quarter, while consumer product sales fell 1.6
percent to $3.26 billion.
J&J raised the lower end of its full-year 2016 profit
forecast to $6.68 per share, from $6.63 a share. It retained the
upper end at $6.73 per share.
The company's net earnings rose to $4.27 billion, or $1.53
per share, in the third quarter, from $3.36 billion, or $1.20
per share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items, J&J earned $1.68 per share.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.66 per share
and revenue of $17.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
Up to Monday's close, J&J's shares had gained about 15
percent since the start of the year, compared with the 3.7
percent decline in the S&P 500 healthcare sector.
(Additional reporting by Natalie Grover in Bengaluru; Editing
by Sriraj Kalluvila and W Simon)