Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Credit Suisse 29th Annual Virtual Healthcare Conference November 11, 2020 11:45 AM ET
Joaquin Duato – Chairman, Executive Committee,
Thibaut Mongon – EVP of Worldwide, Chairman of Consumer
Conference Call Participants
Q – Unidentified Analyst
Great. So I think we’re live. Thanks, everyone for joining us. We’re very, very pleased to have with us today. Team from Johnson & Johnson, Joaquin Duato, Vice Chairman, Chairman, Executive Committee, and A – Thibaut Mongon, EVP of Worldwide Chairman of Consumer. So plenty to talk about pharma and research, plenty to talk about consumer. We’re going to sort of jump right into some broad topics. Since most of the folks I think joining us have some familiarity with JNJ. But, maybe to get it out of the way early. There’s been a lot of news this week on vaccines. So maybe walking, if you could take a minute to sort of give us, your overview, updated thoughts or next steps and sort of a rough timeline of where your program stands? Thoughts, if you have any on the results and progress that others are making? I’m sure I don’t want to be interested in that type of update.
Thank you, Matt. And hello, everyone. So glad to be here with you in the in the conference. Let me start by saying that if I anchor the beginning of my comments on the third quarter, Johnson & Johnson has had a year-to-date, very solid performance overall on the results showcasing the strength of our business and our business model, but also in our pipeline, and in particular on our vaccine — COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
And let me give you some comments on our COVID-19 vaccine candidate first, it’s great that we have seen that the Pfizer [indiscernible] vaccine has this level of efficacy. And it bodes well for all the vaccines. Our vaccine, but the other competitive vaccines to the extent they are targeting the spike protein. So that’s good news for the vaccine development. And we now know that COVID-19 is here to stay until we have a vaccine. So it’s good news for society. But also we welcome those news. And we celebrate that.
From the beginning, the effort that we were having in developing our COVID-19 vaccine was one that we wanted to do as a contribution, and one that we wanted to showcase as the value that the biopharmaceutical industry brings to society. So for us to the extent the vaccines are going to work, and that they’re going to work well as it seems, is it’s really an achievement for the biopharmaceutical industry, and something that is going to validate what we bring to society.
In our case, we have worked tirelessly in the discovery and development of the vaccine. As you know, we are now in Phase III, and we are recruiting patients who have worked to create a supply chain that is going to enable us to deliver a billion doses in 2021 and beyond. And at the same time, we have said, the big team where our effort to make a contribution to society that we are going to be utilizing a non for profit pricing during the pandemic period too.
So that’s the way that we plan to do it. And we feel confident about how things are progressing. And we will wait to see the data and the results as they come. But overall, the news from earlier this week are positive news for everybody, it bodes well for everybody. This is not in our view, a competitive race. This is a race against the virus and in being able to address a situation that is paralyzing the entire society and economy, so happy to see that things are going in the right direction.
That’s a great point, I think as you’ve commented on before and the team has commented on — if it were only JNJ reaching the finish line here, you’d be — I think, concerned thatyou need a team of successful programs to really address the demand globally, over the next couple of years. If you could, I don’t know if you’re able to but give any sense as to I know, everyone’s very much focused on when we’re going to get results? When we’re going to have a vaccine? Anything in terms of, next steps on the timeline is just the next few months or the next couple of months or by the end of the year. Any color would be helpful, of course?
Those have ended up in trial. So it’s difficult to give you a timeline as you know, I mean what we have communicated is that we expect to have results early in 2021. And that’s our expectation, and then from there, we’ll have to go through the regulatory process and eventually achieve an emergency use authorization. We are going to learn more from the process when we see what is going to go with the Pfizer vaccine now. So that will give us more color in the timelines, right. But, I mean, everything is progressing as expected. And we are confident that what recruitment and the process that we have in place, it’s going to ensure a high quality development process and a high quality submission once we have the information.
And to your point, I mean, the world does need more than one vaccine. And the world is going to need the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine it’s good for the world to have multiple options. And it’s good for the world to be able to have a different companies investing here. And every time I talk about that, I think it reinforces the value of the industry we are in. I mean, it’s really a great vindication of the value of the industry we are in because we know that the speed of development and the fact that you have multiple vaccines now in play, it’s due to the fact that we had invested in R&D during long periods of time. So my hope is that this administration to continue to maintain a system, an ecosystem that they need, enables and rewards innovation.
Yes, now, it’s impressive that you and others are having results so fast, I think, people on the ground and in the street, and my neighbors and everyone would like to have something last month but there’s, it’s obviously a immensely complex process with all kinds of considerations. If you could just maybe we’ve gone talked about this line before but just remind folks, the protocol that you have for the U.S. trial, without going into great detail, and then the sort of the second sort of booster trial that you’re evaluating and sort of the misunderstanding of, because there’s obviously going to be two dose vaccines out there, there’s going to be potential for dose and then a booster, depending on the duration of immunity and so we just some context as to where you stand and how you’re progressing?
We did a Phase I/IIa trial, which the results have published. And based on that Phase I/IIa trial, we decided to go with a single dose vaccine in our large Phase III trial. So now we are in the middle of recruiting patients in our large Phase III trial, which is calling sampler. And that trial is taking place mainly in the U.S., but also in certain countries in South America. So that is our, our trial with which we plan to be submitting to the FDA when appropriate, right. In the meantime, we also have an agreement with — to do another trial, having two doses that trial has not yet started. But the idea is to see to what extent two doses protect versus having a single dose. So it’s more about understanding whether having two doses may give you longer lasting protection, and you only will know that when you do it, right. But we are very convinced that the existing single dose based on our Phase I/IIa trial is the right dose to provide immunity as it is today.
Excellent. Okay. So I just have one more here for you Joaquin I want to make sure we spent some time on consumer as well, Thibaut, but, just at a high level, you’ve had some great performances, you mentioned in your — in the rest of your pipeline in pharma, I get some, abstracts and sessions coming up at ash, which we recently commented on. So that that progress in pipeline continues. May be at a high level, just then we can come back to this. But you have been delivering above market growth and pharma for some time. It’s a combination of things. I guess, if you could talk at a high level, what is this strategy? How — what can you focus on? What do you think is critical to sort of maintaining these above market growth rates over time, as you have the past?
Thank you. So you’re right. I mean, I was having a meeting before and, some of the investors was highlighting the fact that we have had a decade of compound above market growth. And typically, when you think about the pharmaceutical business, you think about cycles, which are driven by loss of exclusivity. So our trajectory over the last decade shows that we have been able to deliver, sustainable growth, despite of having had major loss of exclusivity in the mean time.
So our projections, as we discussed in our previous Investor Day, is that we are going to maintain that our market growth through 2023, which is the period that we were discussing at the time, and that we will comfortably be above $50 billion by that time. So we continue to see in the future in the horizon, our market growth for the pharmaceutical group.
What are the foundational tenants of how we achieve that growth? I would say, three basic foundational tenants. One is that we are focused in areas of unmet medical need, where we think science its advancing and congealed significant therapeutic innovations. And when we do that, we are ready to partner with companies in many different ways. And that strategy of being open to external innovation in areas of unmet medical need, has been very successful for us, because and I go to the second pillar, it has enabled us to have a very diversified portfolio.
So the combination of open innovation, and diversification within the pharmaceutical group has made our business more robust. At this point, we have 11 products of more than a $1 billion. So our sales, our revenues are not dependent on any single product. They are broadly based. And that enables us to manage the logical ups and downs, and loss of exclusivity that occur in the meantime.
The third component, it’s also connected with innovation is that we, as a group, we are focusing on investing in R&D. And we are most likely the most efficient company when it comes to SG&A. And we are at the high end when it comes to R&D. So we disproportionally believe on innovation as a way to be able to have this portfolio that I’ve described.
So that is our recipe for success, being very focused on innovation, investing in innovation, being open to external innovation, and being able to have a broad portfolio that in this case, has 11 medicines on the market that have more than a $1 billion. And that is the bulk of the growth that you will see from Johnson & Johnson in pharmaceuticals in the next year.
It’s going to come for this part of our portfolio, which I think it is the risk. At the same time, and I’m sure we’ll have time to discuss, we do have a very exciting pipeline filing before that time period that I would like to have an opportunity to discuss later. But that’s — that is the real secret source for us is that focusing on innovation, and that diversification of our portfolio.
That’s excellent. Thank you, Joaquin. So maybe changing gears for a minute to Thibaut, in terms of consumer. So, I know it’s a bit of a disparate business, at least from an investor’s perspective, markets that we might not dive deep into very often. But there’s clearly, business lines that are sort of in the growth mode, those business lines that are recovering, you have a skew rationalization program has been driving some benefits. So maybe take a minute, if you could, just to sort of tick off, whatever, the two or three of these items that I mentioned, that you see as the biggest opportunity over the next sort of 3 or 6 to 12 months?
Yes, sure. Thank you, Matt. And when you think about the consumer health sector of Johnson & Johnson, it’s really echoes what you heard from Joaquin. What this year and the COVID pandemic did show is how resilience our business model is our focus on science based solutions, and those by professionals with a diversified portfolio of iconic brands that are loved and recognized all around the world.
And is a successful formula that we have boosted over the past two years. And it did really serve us well this year, when — what we see with pandemic is that consumers around the world are more than ever obsessed with their health. They are looking for efficacious solutions coming from trusted brands. And that’s exactly what Johnson & Johnson offers.
So if you think about approximately $14 billion in revenue in consumer health, you should look at it in three different buckets. We have a self care business or OTC business with iconic brands like Tylenol [indiscernible], we have our skin health business, really focused on in beauty really focused on dermatologists recommend these products. And then we have our specialty businesses with baby oral care, women’s health and women care.
So if you look at these three functionalities, clearly, self care business is doing very, very well this year. Some of it is supported by demand created by the pandemic and thinking about Tylenol, where we have seen increased demand. And we continue to see it as we speak. But across the portfolio, we see very strong performance across all different of these states in OTC so very, very strong story there.
If I look on the other side at skin health and beauty, this is more A Tale of Two Cities here. On one hand, we see some subcategories really doing very, very well like body wash, body lotion that all other categories have suffered from the pandemic, like suncare or makeup removal because the usage occasions disappeared almost overnight when you are lockdown getting ready for work getting ready for school or occasions that are — that these appeared in many markets.
What good to see is that the underlying strength of our brands like Neutrogena, Aveeno and others remains very strong. And while we have seen a sharp decline at the beginning of the year, we see continued recovery in the second half of the year and Q3 was a good illustration of that. If you look at specialty business, same thing, depending on where the category you’re talking about, you see more or less resilience but overall positive growth and gives us [indiscernible] our oral care business with Listerine mouthwash where we have a very good news.
I would say, very resilient model linked to a portfolio of iconic brands clearly focused on what consumers are looking for, really, these days, and we expect this to continue moving forward. And the strong focus on execution, which is driving normally the top line growth 3.4% growth year-to-date, which we believe is like we are ahead of the markets in which we compete, but also significant improvement in operating margins.
That’s helpful. And I guess, my own perspective on this is that being a MedTech analyst and covering can do for a long time. I think we don’t appreciate the I mean, there’s obviously global brands, and we know many of those, but the so sort of value of — sort of diverse and geographic brands and assets that you’ve acquired. I think when you asked me years ago, what would you buy in consumer? And my answer for a long time used to be a will probably something we’ve never heard of me and that it was a brand in an overseas market that we might not be familiar with, but that it was strategic and important to your global business and growing in various geographies around the world. And I guess how, how much of your growth strategy is that still? And, what opportunities do you see for, not only driving your existing brands, but extending into these local, branded opportunities around the world?
Yes, you’re right, it’s a big part of our growth model. On one hand, we are hyper focused on strengthening our iconic brands, because they have a lot to offer. A good example is Band Aid, we are celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Band Aid this year. And Band Aid is doing very, very well growing very fast globally. So we are very focused on making sure that we continuously nurture the strength of iconic brands, but we complement this by regular additions of local smaller brands, that complement our portfolio.
So if you think about the Dabao brand in China that we acquired some time ago now and continues to do very well, or the [GX] acquisition in the U.S. That’s an area where we were not present, we have decided to disrupt the premium healthcare market a couple of years ago. And since the acquisition by Johnson & Johnson you see this brand continue to do to grow double-digits. It’s a little known fact that now we own the fourth largest healthcare brand in the U.S. And we continue to do it very well and growing profitably. So it’s a balance between nurturing your portfolio of iconic brands, but making sure that you add smaller brands but that grow very quickly to complement areas of our portfolio where we see an opportunity for growth.
Sure, yes, [indiscernible] to a large growing, developing in emerging markets are great. So maybe switching gears back to you Joaquin, an interesting juxtaposition that maybe defines I wonder if JNJ that we’re talking about the 100 year anniversary of Band Aids. And, on the other hand, your pipeline and the lineup for abstracts and session at ASH. So I won’t drag you through a series of mispronunciations of all the sessions and data that you’re expecting, but you’ve — you, I’m sure have a few, filings and presentations that you’re most excited about. So we’ll start with those.
Thank you. And look, this is, as I said, one of the focus on innovation and the emphasis that we put there. It’s one of the reasons of our success, and that is translated in the submissions that we do to a [hematology], which is one of our most important areas. I’m going to just talk about the assets in hematology and I will comment somehow the late breakers that we have there.
So in hematology, which is one of our most important areas, we have an important asset like Imbruvica that is the market share leader close to 60% share in first line in CLL. In multiple myeloma, we have Darzalex, and recently with the approval of Darzalex FasPro we have Darzalex subcu indication, which is our fastest growing asset in our portfolio.
And then we have a number of assets in late stage clinical development that you are going to be hearing about one is our BCMA CAR-T which we are about to file this end of the year that has received breakthrough designation. And then we are also presenting data in two new medicines that that CD3-redirector, one is a GPR CD5-redirector for multiple myeloma and the other one is have BCMA CD3-redirector for multiple myeloma.
It is shows you the breadth of our portfolio in hematology. If I go into every asset we have multiple studies in late breakers in Imbruvica in mantle cell lymphoma in marginal zone lymphoma, in different settings in currently for the leukemia also presentation of a combination Imbruvica and Venetoclax, depicting the fact that Imbruvica continued to expand its leadership in first line multiple myeloma covering — first line CLL covering different populations and different combinations.
Similar thing we are doing with Darzalex FasPro, we are continually increasing the combination with different medicines there is a combination study with VRD now, there’s combination of study with Pomalidomide, with carfilzomib that shows that every time we add Darzalex to a combination regimen in multiple myeloma, the results improved. And in particular, we are also presenting the data on the Darzalex FasPro, in light chain amyloidosis, which would be another filing another indication for Darzalex to continue to expand its leadership. With our BCMA CAR-t we’re presenting our CAR-T to the study, which is going to be the basis of our filing, that all of you have heard about the good results, they continue to be very good and we are very confident on our BCMA CAR-T which has received breakthrough designation.
And then we present the different studies with our new modality, the T-cell redirectors in two different antigen which I describe, which are going to be a different in modality that we think it’s going to be important in the future for the treatment of multiple myeloma, as we start to differentiate different regimens for different patients and different life in [indiscernible] therapy. So those are the major things that we are doing in ASH. At the same time, we are also presenting a data on Xarelto to our anticoagulant in semi-metallurgical indications and some data on our recently acquired anti-FcRn antibody in some hematological indications. So a very complete ASH for us. Every year we say this is our best ASH. In this case, I think we have very, very solid reasons to be very pleased, or what we’re presenting there.
Excellent. Thank you for that. And I guess I would also call attention to the [indiscernible], which got an awful lot of attention. Maybe if you could in non-small cell lung cancer, could you talk a little bit about that and the timeline there?
Yes, we — I mean, I’m wondering for background of everybody’s is a bio specific antibody that it affects EGFR and cMET, which are two important persistent driver mechanisms in lung cancer. Our initial study is in a very specific mutation. And we have received breakthrough assignation for that indication. And our filing is expected to be in 2020. So we don’t know how long it will take, but we are very confident about the strength of the data, and the fact that we are going to break through this in nature. In the meantime, we’re working on a study combining [indiscernible] EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor and we think that combination is going to be important in first line in this type of non-small cell lung cancer, and that is going to be one of the most important opportunities, if successful, that we have in our pipeline. Just to give you an idea is an analogue. This is the market in which the EGFR Data tyrosine kinase inhibitor like the AstraZeneca one operates is a very important part of the lung cancer market. And it’s a very important market opportunity too
That’s super. And if I could, just on the long-term opportunity for that, I mean, that came out of a call that we hosted after as well, excitement around that potential. So you have near-term breakthrough designation but that sort of combo therapy is what two years away, maybe very, very promising. But any sense of that?
No, it would be the next leg. it’s your segue because we are in study need but it will be a very large market opportunity, it could represent a new leg of growth for us in lung cancer. And the reason we are going directly into Phase III in first line, which is unusual, is because those mechanisms are already validated mechanisms. Both EGFR and EGFR cMET. And we think that it has a probability of success that may lead us going directly into Phase III. So that’s the level of confidence that we have, and it will become a very — if successful, it would become a very important leg of growth. But today, it’s clearly underappreciated in any type of estimation.
That’s very helpful. So I wanted to come back to you, Thibaut, we did not — you talked about some of the drivers. I don’t know that you fully sort of explained the opportunity and whether it’s in terms of margin or sort of underlying ongoing growth around the rationalization, talk about the execution there, what anywhere in and what kind of benefits you see that driving over in the next 6, 12 months again?
You’re right, Matt, we have been really focused over the past years to improve our profitability, and expanding our margins. So we can invest in your business and drive the type of growth I talked about, but also improve the overall profitability of the sector. And when you look at where we are today, we are — I would say we are pleased with the progress we have made.
In Quarter 3, you saw that our adjusted EIBTDA reached 24.4%. That’s a 280 basis points improvement versus the same period last year. So we were at 21.6%, in 2019. So you see a very significant improvement in adjusted EIBTDA and this is driven by a very robust program looking at on one hand to simplification of our portfolio. And we announced earlier this year a program to rationalize the number of what we call [indiscernible] productive codes in our portfolio.
The program has been executed by the team very, very well. Most of it is happening outside the U.S. And so we start seeing the benefit of that in terms of increased productivity for the codes we have in our portfolio. But also focus on improving on the COVID investment in terms of marketing expense. So a lot of work happening in that space to reduce the fixed cost and put more money with a high ROI with the shift to digital which represents now’s the majority of spend in media a large focus on revenue growth management that is also a core element of strategy. And finally, I would say discipline around cost management to make sure that we right size our business so we can free up resources to focus on what matters, which is driving growth and innovation. You know, portfolio.
Excellent. So maybe, as we emerge from this, hopefully, it sounds like some of those initiatives. I don’t want to say tailwind to margins will certainly provide the foundation for some leverage and improvement. It sounds like as we — as growth rates sort of normalized.
Yes, as you know, we don’t we don’t give future guidance, but by sector, but for consumer health, I would say that, we certainly would expect to continue to first grow in line with the market. And similar to the model we have across Johnson & Johnson continue to improve our margins faster than sales, which is a recipe for success and JNJ has been for decades. So we intend to continue to do that, you will see a couple of headwinds in ‘21 with high comps, especially the first half of the year and the impact of this rationalization program. But we fully expect to continue to deploy is successful JNJ formula, which is growing, in line faster within the market and driving improving profitability faster than sales.
Okay, that’s helpful. Joaquin back to you, if I could. So you laid out this, sort of framework of this very large 11 billion plus franchises that are driving much of the growth now you’ve got a great pipeline coming up. Because when I’d love to hear a little bit more about Xarelto and some of the recent of TCT and upcoming presentations and how they kind of play into your growth strategy for Xarelto. But, first just looking out at the pipeline in, say, 2, 3, 4 years time, I think there’s a debate that emerges among investors as to whether and how you’ll be able to sustain this.
And I seem to remember having the same debate, 4, 5 years ago about the current time frame. So I don’t know how much it’s just doubting the, the sustainability of the model. But I wonder is there a stage where another deal of scale or something like that becomes more probable on the pharma side to continue this growth or is it more just the things that you mentioned?
You’re talking just clarifying, Matt, you’re talking about Xarelto’s growth or pharmaceutical growth?
We’ll come back to Xarelto. But my question is just around, you talked about the sustainability model and the high level drivers and strategy. There is a debate, I think, among investors as to, 2, 3 years out, is there something that needs to be filled in terms of a larger acquisition, or more external activity, or something that we don’t currently see in the pipeline or is that just investors not — again, not believing in the sustainability from time-to-time?
Look investors have always the right to be as skeptical as they want, right? I mean, I will remit them to do the trajectory of 10 years of consecutive growth and the results that we are having this year, year-to-date growth of the pharmaceutical group is 6.3%. So ahead of the market, and we are [indiscernible] expiration of it in the U.S. So it’s been demonstrated over time. Now I mean, I think it’s, it’s fair to ask us, hey, why do — what do you guys have in order to overcome what is coming and there’s always going to be external factors coming our way, as you can imagine, which are going to affect everybody in the sector differently. And there’s always going to be our internal factors right.
So, I mean, when it comes to external factors, because of our diversification, and because of our growth is entirely volume based as you know, we have been undergoing negative price for, years already, we can face any type of situation of reform with a position of strength based on our size diversification and volume based growth.
Then when it comes to internal factors, I would distinguish three areas one is our existing portfolio today, our e-market portfolio that has medicines, like a Stelara, like Darzalex like Imbruvica, like Tremfya, like [indiscernible] all of them grow in double-digit, all of them with opportunities to continue to grow based on line extensions and new claims that are going to grow — that are going to drive growth in the coming years.
So all of them have an extraordinary performance and oftentimes they are underappreciated in the way who have been able to consistently deliver there and execute there. So our market portfolio is delivering very well, and it will continue to deliver in the years to come.
The second element is our — the strength of our pipeline today. I mean, you describe some of them, but let me just give you some of the — let’s say, opportunities that are appearing in this three year period. I mean, you have the BCMA CAR-T in hematology, I just commented on two CD3-redirectors in multiple myeloma, one in BCMA, another one in GPR C5D. So we are very positive about these two, and you have some data presented at ASH.
And then we just discuss about our opportunities with Amivantamab and the combination with lazertinib the lung cancer, which is not even in the [run rate] screen, from that perspective for investors, and also, the launch of the [indiscernible], that eventually, we are working to develop an indication in first line metastatic prostate cancer. So that is a pipeline that we have in the horizon in which data has been presented
Continue with pipeline, we continue to work in our infectious disease area with our therapies with RNA in Hepatitis B. And we continue to work strongly in immunology, where we have a number of injectable and oral medicines, which are in Phase II, one is an NKG2D, that we are developing in Crohn’s disease. And then we have two orders, one is [indiscernible] in partnership with [indiscernible]. And the other one, it’s a gut selective, anti-IL23 that we are developing in partnership with protagonists. So we have that next leg of growth in immunology there. And I have to add to that, also the acquisition of Momenta. And the addition of nipocalimab to our portfolio, which we think adds another leg of growth there with multiple indications ahead of a $1 billion.
In parallel, I mean, in this, let’s say, three-year timeframe, we also have made investments in gene therapy, and in particularly in retina, and we have a couple of programs, both in retinitis pigmentosa and that indications that can give us a leg into the gene therapy in the retina side.
So we have what I would characterize a very strong pipeline with more than 10 NMEs to be filed to 2023 that together with the strength of our e-market portfolio can power our growth post 2023 and 2025 and beyond. So that’s the secret that I was telling before that has given us the growth during this decade. It’s a strong development of our e-market portfolio and constant innovation through external partnerships and acquisitions in our pipeline in order to be able to anniversary, whatever patent expatiation may come our way.
Well, that is a very confident and comprehensive answer. And I think probably a good point to end on here since we’re just little bit over time. But thank you so much for that Joaquin. Thank you Thibaut for your comments and for joining us as well. Again, thanks everyone else for joining us and appreciate you being able to be here with us today.
Thank you, Matt.