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Johnson & Johnson's top ten stories of 2017

After a packed year that has flown by, we've reached the final top ten of 2017. Below you can find the biggest stories of the year that proved most popular with our readers.

It's been a year characterised by uncertainty and scandal, but eventful throughout. From J&J's massive acquisition of Actelion bringing in the year, to Teva's increasingly tragic fall from grace and the shadows cast on the industry and beyond by President Trump and Brexit, 2017 was a standout year for more than just a few reasons.

J&J struck by €25m fine over fentanyl pain patch

Johnson & Johnson has been fined by France’s competition authority, Autorité de la Concurrence, after it alleges the company had intentionally stifled generic competition to its painkiller patch.

The product in question is Durogesic, and the case was brought to the authority by Ratiopharm. The German company, which has since been taken over by Teva (in 2010), suggested that J&J had disparaged generic versions of its product to healthcare professionals.

What will Pfizer do with its second Remicade biosimilar?

Pfizer is now in the unusual position of owning two biosimilars to Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade, though one of these is in partnership with Celltrion.

The FDA approved its second biosimilar, Ixifi, but with it already heavily invested in the commercialisation of Inflectra, alongside Celltrion, the question remains about what Pfizer will choose to do with its second version?

J&J's Darzalex cuts risk of disease progression and death by 50%, new study shows

Johnson and Johnson has revealed data which demonstrates that Darzalex (daratumumab), when combined with a regimen of bortezomib, melphalan and prednisone, was able to reduce the risk of disease progression or death by 50% in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma patients for whom autologous stem cell transplantation is not appropriate.

The findings led senior study author Jesus F San-Miguel to remark that the treatment, developed in partnership with Genmab, “should become a new standard of care in transplant-ineligible multiple myeloma patients.”

J&J opts in on Idorsia’s candidate for $230m

As part of Johnson & Johnson’s acquisition of Actelion, it was able to secure a number of ties with the spinout from the deal, Idorsia. The big pharma company has now decided to take up one of its deals by plumping $230 million on the table to co-develop one of the biotech’s lead candidates.

The therapy is aprocitentan (ACT-132577), which is in development as a treatment for resistant hypertension. Both companies will jointly develop and commercialise the treatment.

$417 million case against J&J thrown out

A judge in California has thrown out the lawsuit made by a woman who had alleged that Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder product had caused her ovarian cancer.

The original ruling in the case had taken the side of the prosecution, with a $417 million verdict against the company – awarding Eva Echeverria $70 million in compensation and $347 in punitive damages.

J&J’s third quarter: The good and the bad

It was a mixed bag for Johnson & Johnson on its announcement of third quarter results. It could largely be broken down into two areas: in the short-term, good, and in the long-term, not so much.

To begin with the good news, it posted that its revenues had risen by 10%, up to $19.7 billion. This beat analysts’ expectation by around 5%, with the pharmaceutical business performing better than expected with 15% growth.

J&J exits insulin pump business, rival looks to scoop patients

Johnson & Johnson’s Animas Corporation will cease business and close operations after the pharma giant could not find a buyer to take it off its hands. The decision from the second largest provider of insulin pumps will see 90,000 customers needing to find a new insulin pump provider.

FDA rejects J&J’s treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Perhaps unsurprisingly, after the FDA’s advisory committee had voted 12-1 against approval of Johnson & Johnson’s drug, the FDA returned to the company with a rejection of its rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Sirukumab had once been considered a sure-fire blockbuster for the company, but such hopes floundered after the advisory committee returned their resounding rejection and partner to the drug, GSK, abandoned ship.

J&J backs out of $1.1 billion hep C deal, wiping 22.2% from Achillion's stock

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it is to back out of a $1.1 billion deal with Achillion Pharmaceuticals to develop the firm’s hepatitis C drug pipeline. The news sent Achillion’s stock reeling, wiping away 22.2% of its value.

The deal was originally made back in 2015, where J&J agreed to pay Achillion clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, in addition to royalties. In addition to this, J&J also acquired $225 million of Achillion’s stock as part of the partnership.

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