Tyrone Brewer President, US Oncology
JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES OF JOHNSON & JOHNSON
"I am excited about Janssen’s aspirational vision to eliminate cancer. With targeted therapies and immunotherapies, cancer treatment can be more effective and less toxic, enabling individuals to manage their disease while also maintaining their quality of life."
How did the oncology division perform in 2022 and what are the key areas of focus in 2023?
Our multiple myeloma portfolio has been a key growth driver for us, and we are one of the fastest growing oncology companies. We have assets that are best-in-class and revolutionary in the hematology space. We are also engaged in industry-leading work in solid tumors, prostate cancer, and lung cancer, and look forward to growing our portfolio of targeted therapies for patients.
How does Janssen leverage new machine learning and AI?
AI and machine learning are redefining our go-to-market strategy and ability to work with patients. Our precision medicine research, which is supplemented by artificial intelligence, is challenging our understanding of what is possible. This is exciting as it has the potential to unlock different diagnostics and treatment approaches and to change clinical practice and benefit patients of the future.
We’re developing predictive biomarkers to guide targeted, personalized treatment options for different cancers and using digital tools to measure the signs and symptoms of the disease so that cancer can be diagnosed and intercepted at the earliest phases of malignancy.
Are ESG considerations key to improving the public perception of the pharma industry?
Our commitment to sustainability is anchored in three focus areas: our commitment to client action, reducing our impact throughout a product’s lifecycle, and integrating principles of green chemistry and engineering in the development of our medicines.
A key area of focus for us is health equity. In the coming years, it will be even more critical that we solve inequities in oncology by removing barriers to access, designing more inclusive clinical trials, and collaborating with leaders at the community level. At J&J, we have a global initiative called Our Race to Health Equity, to rebuild healthcare from a diverse perspective and create a world where the color of your skin is not a determinant of your access to care, quality of care, or health outcomes.
Participation of diverse communities in clinical trials is critical to forward progress. In oncology, a clinical trial is an important therapeutic action. It might be the only opportunity for some patients to receive care. To overcome systemic barriers, Janssen Oncology launched a new, comprehensive approach from study planning through enrollment completion designed to improve access for and enrollment of racial/ethnic minority populations in cancer clinical trials.
What trends are likely to shape the biopharmaceutical industry in 2023?
There have been recent talks about the importance of M&A, particularly in oncology. It will certainly be a key part of the focus for us, the difference will be how to carry out these deals. It’s critical we identify areas that are complementary where there are still high unmet needs. My assessment is that unmet needs will bolster deal-making and be a driver for acquisitions.
One of the most significant advancements in treating cancer has been the advent of immuno-oncology (I-O), harnessing the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Identifying how to leverage a patient’s immune system by addressing immune exhaustion, evasion and resistance is a key capability for Janssen. We formed a dedicated multi-functional team entirely focused on immunotherapy research.
Precision medicine will also be important for advancing diagnoses and treatment. In this new world, you will see more partnership with patients throughout their care. This will drive better collaboration to educate, inform and empower patients. Importantly, innovation cannot and should not happen without involvement and feedback from patients. It’s critical that the patient's voice is heard, and that programs are designed with a patient-centric approach.
What excites you as we head into 2023?
I am excited about Janssen’s aspirational vision to eliminate cancer. With targeted therapies and immunotherapies, cancer treatment can be more effective and less toxic, enabling individuals to manage their disease while also maintaining their quality of life. This means people can continue to participate in important life events, spend time with loved ones and pursue their hobbies and interests, even while undergoing treatment. Through the development of novel treatments and technologies to new care models and delivery systems, we’re working to help more patients live longer and live better with cancer.