Johnson & Johnson has put the spotlight on its pharmaceuticals business at a meeting with analysts and is aiming to file three new drugs by the end of next year and eight more before 2013 ends.

First up will be filings in Europe for the hepatitis C treatment telaprevir and Dacogen (decitabine) for acute myelogenous leukaemia, while J&J will submit the HIV drug TMC278 in the USA. After that, the company hopes to file eight other therapies for regulatory approval by the end of 2013, including treatments for pain, diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis.

Paul Stoffels, head of pharmaceutical R&D at J&J, said that "our pipeline productivity is on track”, noting that 2008 saw approvals for six new compounds approved in major markets. He added that the firm has seven compounds with filings pending in the USA and Europe and is making “outstanding late-stage development progress, with five compounds advancing to late development”.

Dr Stoffels, who noted that J&J has created new partnerships in emerging regions such as India and China, stated that the company invested just over $5 billion in pharmaceutical R&D programmes last year. As well as advancing the pipeline, the firm is exploring line extensions for existing drugs, a strategy J&J calls a "pipeline in a product." This is exemplified by the rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease blockbuster Remicade (infliximab) a product with 15 indications and ongoing clinical trials.

J&J’s pharmaceuticals chairman, Sheri McCoy, added that “our pipeline is robust and consists of compounds that are differentiated and meet unmet needs in global and large regional markets”. The presentation comes at a time when J&J is looking at ways to soften the blow of losing patent protection on two of its leading drugs, the antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone) and the epilepsy drug Topamax (topiramate).