The next decade will transform healthcare more than in the last century: J&J CEO

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Joaquin Duato, Johnson & Johnson’s new CEO, feels comfortable enough in his new position at the 135-year-old company just a few months into the job and to make a bold claim during his first interview: he predicts the next decade will see more healthcare changes than in the last century. .

Duato, the company’s first non-US born CEO, and the first dual citizen (Spain and US), has been with J&J for three decades and at one point was the chief information officer of its pharmaceuticals business, which gave him key insights into healthcare technology. In the introduction.

Prioritization No. 1, Duato told CNBC’s Meg Tirel in Healthy Returns on Wednesday, “This decade is an opportunity to make even more progress in health than we’ve seen in the last 100 years.”

As J&J prepares to split into two companies, Duato says separating consumer brands such as Band-Aid, Tylenol, Neutrogena and Listerine from medical technology and pharmaceuticals will help the company stay at the forefront of surgical techniques that will transform healthcare.

“For consumer health organizations, this is going to be an opportunity to deepen the relationship with consumers … and then for the new Johnson & Johnson to be able to attract new investors, motivate employees and be able to get a fit-purpose model with their own capital position priorities.” This is going to be an opportunity for more focus, more competition and increased growth, “said Duato.

Johnson & Johnson, a belvederer in the healthcare sector for hospital surgeries and procedures, has seen Covid overall business pressures, but the CEO noted ahead of the upcoming earnings season that it has seen good performance in its medical devices business. 2021, with an increase of about 16%, even if weighed on the activity of Kovid and, in particular, the electoral system.

Duato said the company is gaining a stake in its preferred Medtech platforms and expects “good” performance this year.

In 2021, the company has invested more than িয়ন 2 billion in innovation, an increase of 23% in the middle of the epidemic. “It’s a sign that we’re describing the opportunity … how much we believe in the combination of science and technology to improve patient care,” Duato said.

Research and development towards medicine is also accelerating, he said, adding that a pipeline of 14 new drugs would be filed before 2025. They have a potential of more than a billion dollars, “he said.

Duato cites recent approval of CARVYKTI, an antigen receptor T-cell therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma, which has helped 98% of patients who would otherwise have gone to hospice care. “We are very optimistic about the treatment options we are coming up with, such as cell therapy that will enable us to aspire to cure some diseases that were considered incurable,” he said.

AI and real-time surgical data

Duato, who served as interim CIO at Johnson & Johnson for almost a year in 2019, said the role gave him insights on how to make artificial intelligence and automation surgery smarter. “I see a future where all medical devices will be smarter, connected to the cloud, able to provide data to surgeons so that they can deliver better surgical results in real time,” he said.

Machine learning, when combined with genetics, also accelerates the discovery and development of new drugs.

“We can do genomic sequencing, and at the same time with large data sets, create patterns using AI and machine learning so that we can relate diseases to genomic profiling, to identify what diseases are going to be the basis. Trigger, the goals that we have. We will be able to use it in our discoveries, “said Duato

New compounds can be measured against a single cell to quickly detect pharmacological activity such as expected toxicity and accelerate the development of new drugs. “We can better plan our clinical trials, we have been able to create synthetic control groups rather than placebo groups, and we have been able to identify and identify patients who are difficult to find in rare diseases using algorithms that enable us to identify them,” he said. “She said. “I’m very excited about the potential of technology to accelerate discovery and develop new drugs.”

Inflation and consumer demand

The current economic situation is “volatile” with inflation in the supply chain and the availability of vital raw materials and components, Duato said, although he said the scale of the company as the largest healthcare provider helps and the guidelines have already provided it. The market at the beginning of the year showed a healthy growth rate of revenue and earnings per share.

Inflation will remain a factor, as some pressures have eased this year but others will be long-lasting, Duato said. Consumer businesses are more affected by inflationary pressures and there are further concerns across markets and economies that consumers will start buying “off-brand” products when there are alternatives.

“Overall, we’ve seen volatility in consumer demand,” Duato said, “but we see a very strong consumer business coming and we continue to strive to deliver what is best for consumers and we continue to strive to reduce our costs. Grow by improving our own skills.” Gets, and in some cases prices rise, but overall, we are excited about our consumer health business prospects and our ability to navigate inflationary pressures in the best way for consumers, ”he said.

Johnson & Johnson has faced multiple lawsuits for products and medical devices, from talc to hip replacement and opioids, resulting in significant financial settlement, without any misrepresentation, as well as ongoing lawsuits.

Duato refuses to go into legal specifications. “We understand that we have a reputation. We understand that we have a high bar and a high expectation from society as a whole … Yes, we have some challenges when you mention the case. … Finally, we always want We can reach a fair and equitable resolution to be able to focus on what we do best, and what we do best is to continue developing drugs, medical devices, consumer products that improve the lives of consumers and meet the needs of patients. “

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