J&J plans to refresh medical device, diagnostics division with 30+ approval applications by ’17

thon-jj(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it planned to file for approvals of more than 30 major products by the end of 2016 as the diversified healthcare company looks to restore growth to a medical device and diagnostics division that has been overshadowed by its drugs business in recent years.

The company, prior to a review of the division for analysts and investors, said its recently launched products and extensive pipeline position it for continued growth.

J&J also said it would expand business with a significant focus on fast-growing emerging markets, particularly China and Russia.

“Building on our 28 year history in China, we are capitalizing on our established footprint to grow and expand our overall business,” Chief Financial Officer Dominic Caruso said in a statement. J&J said it has the number one diabetes business in China, with a population that includes a quarter of the world’s diabetics. The company said it has signed an exclusive equipment manufacturing agreement with Nova Biomedical Corp to sell blood glucose testing systems to hospitals in China.

In Russia, the company said its vision care unit is developing new business models focusing on both eye care professionals and consumers.

The company is hoping to jumpstart growth in the device and diagnostics business that saw flat first-quarter sales of $7.06 billion. J&J’s pharmaceuticals division by comparison grew nearly 11 percent in the first quarter with new drugs for cancer, hepatitis C and to prevent blood clots leading the way.

J&J announced that its DePuy Synthes orthopedics unit was launching new products, including a shoulder repair system and a hip replacement system designed to preserve bone. In recent years the unit had been plagued by major recalls and law suits involving some of its older hip replacements.

The medical device and diagnostic division posted 2013 sales of $28.5 billion representing about 40 percent of the company’s total business.

J&J shares were off about a half a percent at $100.51 in pre-market trading from their Wednesday New York Stock Exchange close at $101.14.

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