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World’s Largest Biotech Companies

What Are Biotech Companies?

Biotechnology is the use of advances in life sciences in the production of marketable goods. A biotech company, therefore, is an enterprise that produces products and services by utilizing biotechnology. Many biotech companies exist around the world. This article takes a look at some of the largest biotech companies according to market capitalization values.

While most public companies around the world have seen their share prices plummet due to the coronavirus pandemic, pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson JNJ -0.9%—No. 1 in the drugs and biotech industry and No. 34 on the 2020 Global 2000—shattered revenue and profit expectations in the first quarter thanks to higher demand. It pulled in $20.7 billion in sales last quarter for profits of $2.30 per share. In an earnings release, the company said that sales of consumer products like Tylenol and Zyrtec rose nearly 10% as consumers stocked up on over-the-counter drugs to reduce fever and other symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson, which has a market cap of $387 billion, announced in March that it has chosen a leading vaccine candidate for the virus; it anticipates starting human trials by September of this year. Chief scientific officer Paul Stoffels told ABC’s “The Week” that the company is aiming to deliver 1 billion vaccines next year. 

Next in the drugs and biotech category is Pfizer PFE -0.1%, No. 49 on the overall list and worth $207 billion. The pharmaceutical company launched a human trial of a coronavirus vaccine earlier this month. Pfizer said that if it finds a successful vaccine candidate, it could produce millions of doses by the end of 2020 and hundreds of millions of doses by 2021. Though Pfizer saw its sales fall 8% in the first quarter, it still beat analyst expectations. 

Third in the category is insurance company Cigna CI -0.6%, which ranks at No. 63 on the overall list. Since the crisis began, Cigna has seen a bump in pharmacy customers (almost 79 million last quarter, up from 75 million during the same time last year. The company pulled in more than $1.1 billion in profit during the first three months of the year. 

Johnson & Johnson

The largest biotech company in the world is Johnson & Johnson, founded in 1885 as a provider of ready-to-use surgical dressings. Today, this company is a multinational pharmaceutical, medical devices, and first aid supplies manufacturer. Some of the most well known Johnson & Johnson brands include: Tylenol, Neutrogena, Band-Aid, Acuvue contact lenses, and Clear and Clear. It operates in 60 countries with sales in more than 175 countries and headquarters in New Brunswick in the US state of New Jersey. It employs approximately 127,100 individuals and had global sales of around $70.1 billion in 2015. In 2016, Johnson & Johnson had a market capitalization of $314.1 billion.

8. Novo Nordisk

It is a multinational biotech company founded in 1923 and 1925, headquartered in Denmark. The production of insulin, which was discovered by two Canadian scientists, started with two small Danish companies Nordisk Insulinlaboratorium and Novo Terapeutisk Laboratorium.

The main focus is on diabetes care, hemophilia care, growth hormone therapy, and hormone replacement therapy. The most famous brand names are Levemir, NovoLog, Novolin R, NovoSeven, NovoEight, and Victoza.

  • Roche is currently one of the biggest biotech producers in the world with 14 biopharmaceutical products.
  • Founded in 1849, Pfizer has risen to being on the top of today’s biotechnology industry.
  • Novo Nordisk produces insulin andthe company began as the union of two smaller comapnies in Denmark.

7. Medtronic Plc

In 1949 Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law Palmer Hermundslie founded Medtronic as a medical equipment repair shop. Over the years, they developed implantable mechanical devices, various drugs, and advanced surgical instruments. Their technologies are used to treat almost 40 medical conditions. 

6. Abbot Laboratories

The company was founded in 1888 by a physician, dr. Wallace Calvin Abbot from Chicago, where it is headquartered. Abbot Laboratories is a company where they create breakthrough products in diagnostics, nutrition, branded generic pharmaceuticals, and medical devices, which leads to healthier lives, full of unlimited possibilities. There are 107 000 people that are working to make an impact on health in more than 160 countries.

5. Novartis

The company was founded in 1996, based in Switzerland, through a merger of Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz. The focus of the company is on eye care, generics, and pharmaceuticals, and it is slowly expanding in emerging markets such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where there is an increased need for medicines and health care. Novartis is developing and commercializing primary care, oncology, and specialty medicines.

4. Pfizer

Pfizer was founded in the year 1849, and today is one of the key players in biotechnology. The headquarter is in New York City. In 2015 the company bought Botox maker Allergan which turned out to be one of the largest-ever acquisitions in the industry.

The purpose is on the commitment to global health, protecting people and the environment. The focus areas are on internal medicine, inflammation, and immunology, oncology, rare disease, vaccine, and anti-infectives. 

3. Merck And Company Inc

It is the company with more than 125 years of experience, and the mission to improve and save lives. It was founded in 1891, with researches that helped to found vitamin B1 up to treat high cholesterol. Today the company is focused on their research concerning cancer, HIV, HPV, hepatitis C, Alzheimer’s disease, and also Ebola. 

Their values are: patients come first, respect for people, ethics and integrity and innovation and scientific excellence. 

2. Roche

It is one of the largest biotech companies in the world with 14 biopharmaceutical products on the market, founded in Switzerland in 1896. Roche has been the leader of cancer research and treatment, creating medicines for several cancer types. They have developed treatments in ophthalmology and neuroscience in the biotech industry.

The focus on innovation and biotechnology lead to advances in diagnostic techniques and medicines aimed at molecular targets so many diseases can be detected earlier. The integration with Genentech strengthens Roche’s access to innovation and new technologies.  

1. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson was founded in 1886 in New Jersey. It is one of the top biotech companies in the world. It manufactures and distributes more than 172 drugs in the US alone. The company’s pharmaceutical segment focuses on infectious disease, immunology, oncology, and neuroscience.

They have their Credo in which they strongly believe – to be the good citizens, support charity, better health, and education, but also experiment with new ideas and move forward all the time. 


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