Bengaluru — Johnson & Johnson (J&J) beat quarterly profit estimates on higher sales at its pharmaceuticals unit even as it faces fierce competition for some of its biggest drugs, sending the company’s shares up more than 2%. Sales from the business, which accounts for more than half of the company’s total revenue, rose 4.1% and beat estimates, mainly boosted by demand for Stelara — its treatment for psoriasis and Crohn’s disease — as well as cancer drugs Darzalex and Imbruvica. “J&J’s first-quarter results reflect another stellar quarter in pharma despite significant generic/biosimilar headwinds and continued progress in medical devices,” Cowen & Co analyst Joshua Jennings said. J&J’s medical device unit, its second-largest business, reported a 4.6% fall in sales but beat analysts’ average estimate of $6.44 bn. The unit has been struggling with slow growth of its spine and hip business, and the drug maker has been selling off some underperforming businesses.

Sales of Stelara...

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