J&J Earns Spot in Fortune’s Top 50 Most Respected Companies

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It’s nice to be admired. Fortune released its list of the most respected companies across the globe and one pharma company made the top 50 list.

In life sciences and healthcare, Johnson & Johnson is a household name with trusted products that includes bandages, baby shampoos and so much more. The company has taken some significant financial and public relations hits over allegations of carcinogens in its baby powder product, however. Despite that, the company is the highest ranking of all the pharmaceutical companies. Coming in overall at number 17 on the list and number one in the pharmaceuticals list, J&J has shown significant innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, with its subsidiary Janssen leading the way in drug development. The company is also taking a lead in pricing transparency when it comes to its drugs. Despite the company raising the price of many of its most-prescribed medications by 6 and 7 percent earlier this year, the company has said it will include the price of its medications in television advertisements. Johnson & Johnson was the only pharmaceutical company to make the Fortune Top 50 list.

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While no other pharma company made the top 50 list, Fortune did break down various industries and ranked companies within them. Some of those companies in the pharma and healthcare list are highlighted below.

AbbVie – Illinois-based Abbvie came in at number eight on the Fortune list of pharmaceutical companies. The company markets Humira, the number-one selling drug in the world, which garnered $17 billion in revenue in 2017 and is on track for reaching forecasted peak sales figures of $21 billion by 2020. Humira is beginning to face some challenges globally and the company is scrambling to develop other products to offset those potential losses, including a new drug for rheumatoid arthritis, as well as multiple myeloma treatments. The company has been a leader in charitable giving. Last year it donated $50 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as well as $55 million to three nonprofits in education and $100 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Amgen – Coming in at number five on the pharma list is Amgen, which recently lowered the cost of its cholesterol drug Repatha by 60 percent. Amgen recently disclosed early-stage data from two separate Phase I clinical trials of novel BiTE immunotherapies targeting cancer. BiTE stands for Bispecific T cell engager, and is an antibody construct pioneered by Amgen. They are protein molecules designed to kill cancer cells using the patient’s own immune system by bridging T cells to tumor cells.

Bristol-Myers Squibb – Driven by powerhouse checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb came in at number six in the pharma listings. Most recently, BMS announced a massive $74 billion acquisition of Celgene and its top cancer drug, Revlimid. With the deal, BMS will have nine drugs with more than $1 billion in annual sales, with an oncology pipeline including Opdivo, Revlimid, Pomylyst and Yervoy. Earlier this month, BMS announced interim data from a trial that showed a combination of its PD-I inhibitor Opdivo plus Yervoy provided a significant response in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

IQVIA – Coming in at number two on the healthcare list, IQVIA recently launched a commercial solutions technology suite for small biotech and biopharma companies. This solutions suite, supported by more than 1,000 dedicated employees, will deliver simplified operating procedures, specialized teams, and services to provide a more agile way for these innovators to reach their drug development and commercialization milestones.

Merck – Merck’s vaunted PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda continues to win regulatory approval as a standalone or in combination with other medicines as a treatment for various cancers. The Kenilworth, N.J,-based Merck came in at number two on the Fortune list of pharma companies. This morning, Merck announced that it acquired Immune Designs for $300 million in order to harness that company’s platform to boost its immuno-therapy pipeline.

Novartis – Swiss pharma giant Novartis came in at number four on the Fortune pharma list. Novartis is on the cusp of winning regulatory approval of a gene therapy for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy developed by its subsidiary AveXis. Last week, the company snagged approval for Egaten (triclabendazole) to treat fascioliasis in patients six years of age and older. That news came on the same day the company inked a collaboration with Vancouver, British Columbia-based AbCellera.

Pfizer – Coming in at number seven on the Fortune pharma list, Pfizer announced in January that it was scaling back on its preclinical biosimilar development in favor of more cutting-edge drugs. Pfizer culled five preclinical programs in its biosimilar research. Last year, Pfizer announced it was reorganizing into three units. In December, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline announced a joint venture to create a global consumer healthcare company.

Roche – Swiss pharma powerhouse Roche came in at number three on the Fortune pharma list. One of the keys for Roche last year was gaining approval for the first new flu drug in 20 years. In October Xofluza, a single-dose medicine, was approved for the treatment of acute, uncomplicated influenza, or flu, in people 12 years of age and older. Clinical data showed that one dose of Xofluza can significantly reduce the duration of flu symptoms.

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