2020-01-15| Manufacturing

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference 2020 Update: Bristol-Myers Squibb

by Rajaneesh K. Gopinath
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By Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.

From an investor perspective, the inaugural day of the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference could be best described as uneventful. This is in stark contrast to the previous edition when some major mergers and acquisitions such as the Celgene takeover by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) were made. This year, many of the major pharma giants including BMS have refrained from making any such deal announcements so far. Instead, they have focused on providing product updates and giving a preview of their future business strategies. Here is a summary of the presentation by the CEO, Dr. Giovanni Caforio.


Integration of Celgene

This year’s event was kickstarted by BMS with the audience wanting to know how the acquisition of Celgene panned out and what the future plans are for the products in its pipeline including the newly acquired assets. “After one year, we have made great progress on all fronts and we have executed all our key priorities” said Dr. Caforio in his presentation. As far as the integration of Celgene is concerned, Dr. Caforio said they have their leadership teams in place, designed their operating models and well on track in fulfilling their claim to cut down US$ 2.5 billion in costs by 2022. He also conceded that they are still in the beginning stages of certain areas, currently looking at processes and systems to integrate the companies from an IT and financial perspective.


Progress of Revlimid and Eliquis

The multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid enjoyed a monopoly for a number of years and had continuously reaped a large revenue for Celgene year after year. It is strongly protected by patents and market exclusivity. A generic competitor in the US is expected only in the year 2022. Dr. Caforio mentioned that they have made good progress with the Intellectual Property (IP) of Revlimid.

Similarly, Eliquis too has no competition and has become a leading oral anticoagulant in a growing market by edging out warfarin, the old standard of care. Dr. Caforio says there are more opportunities for growth for the drug since many patients have not yet been diagnosed.


8 Near Term Launch Opportunities

The biggest takeaway according to him is that the company’s late-stage pipeline has seen great progress and they are preparing for 8 launches in the next 24 months which is unprecedented. This includes:

1) Inrebic and Reblozyl that garnered FDA approvals last year,

2) Hematology drugs CC-486 that recently met its primary endpoint of overall survival in a trial, lisocel, and ide-cel,

3) Immunological drugs ozanimod and TYK-2 and

4) Opdivo and Yervoy combination that registered positive data in two trials (Checkmate 227 and Checkmate 9LA). Dr. Caforio believes that this combination regimen which is now an established standard of care for melanoma and renal cancer will also help them play a major role in the competitive market of first-line lung cancer.



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